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Thread: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

  1. #136
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Possible, sure. But Deion Sanders wasn't exactly out there drawing a bunch of walks either and he was at least as fast as Hamilton.
    Drawing walks is not just a product of what the pitcher does, but also a product of what the hitter does.

    Even if pitchers are inclined to pitch you off the corners for whatever reason, it still requires you to recognize it's a ball and have the discipline not to swing at it anyhow.
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  3. #137
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I will disagree that Hamilton has tremendous plate discipline and a good eye. I have seen him this season, far too many times flailing out on his front foot at pitches to go that far. Solid plate discipline, I can go with that.

    Yes, the conversation changed some from point A to point B, but that is what conversations do. They adapt.

    At the end of the day I am just going to say that Hamilton has an incredibly unique skillset and if he winds up as an every day player in the Majors, there won't be many comps for his skillset over the last 25 years because of his complete lack of power and still higher end strikeout rates.

    Can he walk 8-10% of the time? Sure, I think so. Can he walk 12-15% of the time? I highly doubt it because I don't see any reason pitchers would fear throwing him strikes and even with excellent plate discipline, you aren't going to walk that much when pitchers have no fear of you hitting the ball over the fence.
    Sometimes it's not just about whether or not he can hit a homerun, or hit gaps consistently. Sometimes pitchers are just afraid of him hitting a single because then they know they have to deal with him on the basepaths. There is logic behind being afraid of giving Hamilton a good pitch. Hamilton will take singles all. day. Why? He turns singles into triples. On top of which he can turn what would be a double into a triple without stealing. His speed is so unique, and his baserunning so unique, that he causes tons of problems with the pitcher. They have that in the back of their head when pitching, too. So it's not just a matter of 'oh, this guy has no power I'm going to throw him strikes because he can't make me pay' it's 'this guy has no power, but if he hits a single he's going to wreak havoc on my head until I throw him out or he steals two bases.'

    Trust me it's not as simple as just being afraid of his power.

    Not to mention Hamilton has one of those frames that takes a while to add power. I know because I have a very similar frame and I've played baseball and softball for a long time. I had no power growing up, but once I hit 22 - 23 it started coming and now I can really put some hurt on the ball. That said, it's important to remember not everyone develops linearly. He could easily develop power still once he grows into his frame and polishes his swing. He is still very young in the game of baseball and the progress he's already shown should give you nothing but hope.
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  4. #138
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    There are a ton of factors that go into this. I just don't see Hamilton drawing that many walks (+10%). His plate discipline isn't elite, even if his walk rate in AA suggests it is. He expands the zone too often for me to place him in that category.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Has anybody posting here actually had the occasion to see him in action a few times this year? Reading stats are fun, but what do eye witnesses think? Last year he had 2 seasons in one. Anybody from Bakersfield or Pensacola that may have seen him play several times got anything to add?

  6. #140
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by gedred69 View Post
    Has anybody posting here actually had the occasion to see him in action a few times this year? Reading stats are fun, but what do eye witnesses think? Last year he had 2 seasons in one. Anybody from Bakersfield or Pensacola that may have seen him play several times got anything to add?
    I have seen him in person 5 times this year, all games in a row. I have also watched him on Milb.tv 30+ times this year.

  7. #141
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Sure, pitchers fear Miguel Cabrera's power when he steps up to the plate, no question.

    But I think people may be severely underestimating the fear a pitcher has of a guy like Billy Hamilton on first base.

    Throw up a cement mixer that goes over the wall, oh well, its one pitch, worry about the next one. Throw over to first 5 times, do a pitchout, then have Hamilton steal second and third? That really grinds a pitcher's gears and gets in his head, and can even cause a riff between batterymates.

    What does all that mean? I think his walk rate could go down, but he's going to get better pitches to hit. He just needs to continue progress becoming a better hitter. I think his loss in Walks for OBP will be matched by his increase in AVG
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    A few general comments...

    --What are we expecting out of this kid? Rickey Henderson? No way. I think Vinve Coleman is a reasonable comp and he was a very good player in his 20s. With that in mind, I think the Reds ought not leave him in the minors too long because his skills will likely start to erode around age 28 or so

    --How many can't miss prospects are there? Not many. It's no shame that Billy is not one of those elite few

    --If you're an organization who's been looking for a leadoff hitter for a decade, how can you look at Billy and not see that your prayers have been answered? OK, he's not Rickey or Tim Raines but it seems to me he's got leadoff hitter written all over him. Why wouldn't Reds fans be excited to follow this kid?

  9. #143
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post

    --If you're an organization who's been looking for a leadoff hitter for a decade, how can you look at Billy and not see that your prayers have been answered? OK, he's not Rickey or Tim Raines but it seems to me he's got leadoff hitter written all over him. Why wouldn't Reds fans be excited to follow this kid?
    Well I guess the answer to this would be that, until he actually does it in the Majors, he hasn't answered anything yet. Of course you can say that about anyone in the minors who hasn't done it yet. I just think that for all of the hype and substance that is actually in Hamilton's game, there are still some very strong and unanswered questions about how his offensive game can translate.

    As for the fans, I can just imagine him being the next whipping boy for the fans if he doesn't come out and hit .280/.360/whatever with 70 steals. Just like Jay Bruce is because he isn't Joey Votto or just like Adam Dunn was because he wasn't Miguel Cabrera.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    As for the fans, I can just imagine him being the next whipping boy for the fans if he doesn't come out and hit .280/.360/whatever with 70 steals. Just like Jay Bruce is because he isn't Joey Votto or just like Adam Dunn was because he wasn't Miguel Cabrera.
    Disagree. It's not about hype vs performance. It's about the type of performance. Both Dunn and Bruce (though Bruce to a far lesser extent) frustrate fans because they strike out a lot and fail to produce runs in "clutch" situations. Hamilton is, in important ways, the opposite. He creates excitement by turning nubbers into hits, singles into doubles and empty bases into stolen bases. At an elementary level, his speed appears to be effort, while a whiff from Dunn or Bruce appears to be lack of effort. Unfair, but that's what fans feel at some level, IMO. I don't see a player like Hamilton ever drawing the ire of the average fan like those guys do.
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  11. #145
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Disagree. It's not about hype vs performance. It's about the type of performance. Both Dunn and Bruce (though Bruce to a far lesser extent) frustrate fans because they strike out a lot and fail to produce runs in "clutch" situations. Hamilton is, in important ways, the opposite. He creates excitement by turning nubbers into hits, singles into doubles and empty bases into stolen bases. At an elementary level, his speed appears to be effort, while a whiff from Dunn or Bruce appears to be lack of effort. Unfair, but that's what fans feel at some level, IMO. I don't see a player like Hamilton ever drawing the ire of the average fan like those guys do.
    Maybe we will never find out, but I can certainly envision Hamilton coming up and being Michael Bourn like for his first handful of years (the .681 OPS in his first four seasons version, not this years version) and fans not really falling in love with that, infield hits or not. I talk to a lot of people about Hamilton, average fans wise, and they all are just absolutely bonkers type of giddy over him. Maybe I am reading into what they think he is going to be, but I get the feeling that they think he is in his prime Jose Reyes in the making and I just don't see that happening. And if that is their perception and he turns out to be a much lesser version of that, well, I can see them making him the whipping boy.
    Last edited by dougdirt; 08-18-2012 at 12:56 PM.

  12. #146
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Maybe we will never find out, but I can certainly envision Hamilton coming up and being Michael Bourn like for his first handful of years (the .681 OPS in his first four seasons version, not this years version) and fans not really falling in love with that, infield hits or not. I talk to a lot of people about Hamilton, average fans wise, and they all are just absolutely bonkers type of giddy over him. Maybe I am reading into what they think he is going to be, but I get the feeling that they think he is in his prime Jose Reyes in the making and I just don't see that happening. And if that is their perception and he turns out to be a much lesser version of that, well, I can see them making him the whipping boy.
    Sure, there may be some people in the RedsZone crowd who want a multiple time all-star. I don't think the average fan is going to expect anything more than a whole bunch of stolen bases and all the excitement that goes with that. They will almost undoubtedly overvalue that speed, but if he gets 50 bags, I don't think the casual fan will be upset regardless of what else he does.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  13. #147
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Maybe we will never find out, but I can certainly envision Hamilton coming up and being Michael Bourn like for his first handful of years (the .681 OPS in his first four seasons version, not this years version) and fans not really falling in love with that, infield hits or not. I talk to a lot of people about Hamilton, average fans wise, and they all are just absolutely bonkers type of giddy over him. Maybe I am reading into what they think he is going to be, but I get the feeling that they think he is in his prime Jose Reyes in the making and I just don't see that happening. And if that is their perception and he turns out to be a much lesser version of that, well, I can see them making him the whipping boy.
    I can't speak for others, but I wasn't very high on him until this year. The speed is nice, but it can only take a player so far. It's when the guy started getting on base at such a high clip that I started coming around on him. And it's the walk rate that has me up and taking notice because that leads me to believe, coupled with an expected high xBABIP going forward, he'll get on base a lot.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  14. #148
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    What frustrates fans on Jay Bruce is when they see him strike out on a pitches WAY out of the strike zone. By I'll add that I think the fans have not really turned on him, in fact they've really been quite patient with him.

    I think the main thing that Hamilton will have to be careful of is getting caught too much stealing bases. If he doesn't maintain about an 80% success rate, fans will become frustrated. At AA, he's maintained his numbers from A+ in terms of OPS and SBs but his success rate has taken a hit. I think that's an area he needs to be aware of

  15. #149
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I don't know that his skillset does suggest he will walk more. .
    I think Billy's high walk rate in the minors shows that he has a good grasp of the strikezone.
    IF he can consistently hit major league pitching (no obvious holes in his swing that can be consistently exploited), I'd expect him to get a decent number of walks at the major league level, although not as many walks as someone like Votto.

    There's some minor leaguers (like Anderson Machado) that have a good walk rate in the minors, but can't hit major league pitching.. these guys don't walk much in the majors, because they are an easy out.

    At least that's my theory. Hopefully Billy can handle major league pitching.
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    I can't speak for others, but I wasn't very high on him until this year. The speed is nice, but it can only take a player so far. It's when the guy started getting on base at such a high clip that I started coming around on him. And it's the walk rate that has me up and taking notice because that leads me to believe, coupled with an expected high xBABIP going forward, he'll get on base a lot.
    This is pretty much how I feel. I wasn't convinced he could be an impact player in the major leagues until this year as I am generally skeptical of speed-first prospects. Specifically it wasn't until his OBP continued to soar in Pensacola. Now I can't wait for him to takeover the leadoff spot and CF job in Cincy, although I don't expect that to happen until 2014.
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