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Thread: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

  1. #91
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    I think Hamilton will add quality muscle weight and hit for better power. He's already added some and I think this off season he'll add as much as possible and, well, he'll be awesome next year. That could be really exciting. If he catches fire early, he could get the May / June call up. We'll see what the Reds do with him position-wise, but I'm sure he'll be a factor in planning for 2013. That said, it would be totally normal for the Reds to hold him back a bit and season him all year next year.

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  3. #92
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Generally they do, but generalities don't really work with a player who has a skillset like Hamilton because guys with his skillset don't often make it to the Majors (lots of speed, absolutely no power).
    I could name dozens of players that are in the majors right now with that exact skillset, Doug. That's really not that uncommon at all. In fact, I'd argue it's been extremely common during much of baseball's existence other than there for a period of time where PEDs made it a power-first league.

    Heck, Wilson Valdez and Xavier Paul are both on the Reds' roster right now and they're not anywhere near as talented as Billy Hamilton.
    "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

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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    I could name dozens of players that are in the majors right now with that exact skillset, Doug. That's really not that uncommon at all. In fact, I'd argue it's been extremely common during much of baseball's existence other than there for a period of time where PEDs made it a power-first league.

    Heck, Wilson Valdez and Xavier Paul are both on the Reds' roster right now and they're not anywhere near as talented as Billy Hamilton.
    Right now, Xavier Paul is a much better hitter than Hamilton is. They aren't even close.

    As for comparisons for Billy Hamilton.... There have been 54 players from 2010-2012 with 900 PA's and a sub .121 IsoP. Four of them walk more than 10%. Joe Mauer, Jamey Carroll, Daric Barton and Brett Gardner. Hamilton is striking out 18.1% of the time he steps to the plate this year. Five of the 54 strike out more than that. Only 10 are over 17%.

    Guys with the power of Hamilton simply don't walk 10% of the time. Yes, there are some exceptions, but they are few and far between. Top it off with he is at the top end of that group in strikeouts and it adds to the questions.

    The guy could honestly compete for a few MVP's in the future. But he could also turn into Tony Gwynn Jr, Nyjer Morgan, Emilio Bonifacio, Michael Bourn or the wide array of guys between them too.

  5. #94
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    Don't walk rates generally carry over from the minors to majors rather consistently? Even if it's not 15%, if he walks 10% in the majors, that bodes really well for his future. With his speed, a .100 isoD would make him a holy terror given an expected BABIP that will surely be over .300.
    I would say that walk rates typically carry over, but can we expect that to be constant with a guy like Hamilton who has basically no power? My overall point is, for a guy who profiles as a singles hitter, what risk does a major league pitcher have firing strikes in on the guy? He's not risking him hit it out of the park (relatively speaking of course), and he knows if he walks the guy, he's probably going to be standing on 2nd in no time.

    I surely don't have the answer to this question, but I think it makes for good discussion. I would agree that a 10% walk rate would mean good things for B Ham.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Right now, Xavier Paul is a much better hitter than Hamilton is. They aren't even close.

    As for comparisons for Billy Hamilton.... There have been 54 players from 2010-2012 with 900 PA's and a sub .121 IsoP. Four of them walk more than 10%. Joe Mauer, Jamey Carroll, Daric Barton and Brett Gardner. Hamilton is striking out 18.1% of the time he steps to the plate this year. Five of the 54 strike out more than that. Only 10 are over 17%.

    Guys with the power of Hamilton simply don't walk 10% of the time. Yes, there are some exceptions, but they are few and far between. Top it off with he is at the top end of that group in strikeouts and it adds to the questions.

    The guy could honestly compete for a few MVP's in the future. But he could also turn into Tony Gwynn Jr, Nyjer Morgan, Emilio Bonifacio, Michael Bourn or the wide array of guys between them too.
    You're using the wrong comparisons. Show the numbers of those same guys at Hamilton's point in his minor league career. I bet you'll see a huge difference. It's very iffy to compare guys' Major League numbers, especially without regard to age and experience, to someone who's 20 years old and in AA.

    You've already admitted that guys' walk rates do carry over relatively well. So casting a wide net and saying "guys with the power of Hamilton simply don't walk 10% of the time" isn't prudent. Hamilton isn't every single player of that skillset. His skillset suggests he does walk more. Some guys do have better plate discipline. Just because he doesn't hit for a lot of power doesn't mean he won't be able to carry a higher walk rate.
    "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

  7. #96
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Bailey View Post
    I would say that walk rates typically carry over, but can we expect that to be constant with a guy like Hamilton who has basically no power? My overall point is, for a guy who profiles as a singles hitter, what risk does a major league pitcher have firing strikes in on the guy? He's not risking him hit it out of the park (relatively speaking of course), and he knows if he walks the guy, he's probably going to be standing on 2nd in no time.

    I surely don't have the answer to this question, but I think it makes for good discussion. I would agree that a 10% walk rate would mean good things for B Ham.
    I agree you you in principle that Major League hitters would be less inclined to walk him than a power hitter, but sometimes it's easier said than done. Pitchers typically don't want to give any Major League batter too much to hit. So even though Hamilton might not be a threat to hit it 450 feet, pitchers still like to nibble the corners even against guys like him and if he's good enough to recognize pitches, he'll still draw his fair share of walks.
    "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

  8. #97
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    You're using the wrong comparisons. Show the numbers of those same guys at Hamilton's point in his minor league career. I bet you'll see a huge difference. It's very iffy to compare guys' Major League numbers, especially without regard to age and experience, to someone who's 20 years old and in AA.

    You've already admitted that guys' walk rates do carry over relatively well. So casting a wide net and saying "guys with the power of Hamilton simply don't walk 10% of the time" isn't prudent. Hamilton isn't every single player of that skillset. His skillset suggests he does walk more. Some guys do have better plate discipline. Just because he doesn't hit for a lot of power doesn't mean he won't be able to carry a higher walk rate.
    I don't know that his skillset does suggest he will walk more. While you are right that some guys DO have better plate discipline, pitchers aren't the same in the minors as they are in the Majors. Right now, Billy Hamilton is walking nearly as much as Joey Votto has since 2010 (14.1% for Billy, 15.3% for Joey). I guess it is possible, but it simply doesn't seem likely. Pitchers have reason to fear throwing strikes to a guy like Votto. They have very little reason to fear throwing strikes to Hamilton. Not only is he not going to truly punish your strikes, he also has mild contact problems.

    As for the comparison, you are right. Unfortunately the minor leagues don't really have a good database to work with like the Majors do.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    I could name dozens of players that are in the majors right now with that exact skillset, Doug. That's really not that uncommon at all. In fact, I'd argue it's been extremely common during much of baseball's existence other than there for a period of time where PEDs made it a power-first league.

    Heck, Wilson Valdez and Xavier Paul are both on the Reds' roster right now and they're not anywhere near as talented as Billy Hamilton.
    I'd argue that the Fangraphs article was remarkably poor, in that the author saw a total of maybe 100 swings, all but three or four in batting practice. He then made his entire assumption on that and one "conversation" with a scout who also doubted Hamilton's swing/ power.

    (Others don't. Witness this AL scout, when asked about Hamilton's hit tool:
    "He's strong enough to defend himself at the plate," said an American League scout, "and he can outquick the ball at times. His hands work just fine."
    There's no analysis done at all. (And on Fangraphs, that's inexcusable.)

    Were he to have done actual analysis, he may have noted that many players similar to minor league Hamilton have enjoyed a bunch of success at the major league level despite beginning their careers with no power/ slight frames.

    Players like Rafael Furcal, Brett Butler, Tony Fernandez, Phil Rizzuto, Richie Ashburn, Harry Hooper all showed little power (Iso slg of .114 or below, all of them) in the minor leagues or early in their major league career. Yet, all became All-Star level producers despite that lack of power. The 1970s alone are littered with no-power, high-obp, high-SB leadoff guys. Heck, Lou Boudreau has just as much-- if not more-- in common with Hamilton than the erstwhile Dee Gordon.

    (I also question his acumen on Hamilton's defense, as he claims the kid has a wet noodle for an arm; Hamilton threw 92 mph from the mound as a HS player.)
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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 keep seeing this claim from Hamilton critics.

    I guess I'd like to see some examples of similar players and their walks drying up before I buy it. The Fangraphs guy didn't show it. Neither has anyone else that I know of.
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    I'd argue that the Fangraphs article was remarkably poor, in that the author saw a total of maybe 100 swings, all but three or four in batting practice. He then made his entire assumption on that and one "conversation" with a scout who also doubted Hamilton's swing/ power.

    (Others don't. Witness this AL scout, when asked about Hamilton's hit tool:


    There's no analysis done at all. (And on Fangraphs, that's inexcusable.)

    Were he to have done actual analysis, he may have noted that many players similar to minor league Hamilton have enjoyed a bunch of success at the major league level despite beginning their careers with no power/ slight frames.

    Players like Rafael Furcal, Brett Butler, Tony Fernandez, Phil Rizzuto, Richie Ashburn, Harry Hooper all showed little power (Iso slg of .114 or below, all of them) in the minor leagues or early in their major league career. Yet, all became All-Star level producers despite that lack of power. The 1970s alone are littered with no-power, high-obp, high-SB leadoff guys. Heck, Lou Boudreau has just as much-- if not more-- in common with Hamilton than the erstwhile Dee Gordon.

    (I also question his acumen on Hamilton's defense, as he claims the kid has a wet noodle for an arm; Hamilton threw 92 mph from the mound as a HS player.)
    I want to address a few things here.

    First, is that Mike knows what he is talking about. He really does. He will also be the first person to tell you that you need to see someone more than once or twice. He has said that in the past and even wrote an article about it once upon a time. Guys can truly look like a different player, even from a tools standpoint in a week or twos time difference.

    Secondly, Mike wasn't brought on to Fangraphs for statistical analysis, even if that is what Fangraphs is generally based on. He was brought on for his scouting prowess. And his scouting prowess is pretty good.

    Third, I believe that Mike simply didn't see enough of Hamilton to see both the good and the bad. What he saw was a lot of the 'raw' side of Hamilton and was unable to get a good read on the 'wow' side of Hamilton. I was in Pensacola for a 5 game series last week. Hamilton hit a few balls hard, and he even had two triples, but his triples both are probably caught in the Majors (both were fly balls that landed in the grass of non gaps, but the guys were playing so far in that they couldn't get to them despite them not even making the track). His hard hit balls were actually singles that he simply hit right toward the outfielders and even he wasn't fast enough to turn them into doubles. He has, in the past when I have seen him, laced baseballs into the gaps for triples, showing off a little bit of gap power.

    Fourth, with the arm, Mike is both right and wrong. If I can ever figure out what is going on with my video editing program, I will be able to show actual response with video to this point. Hamilton simply doesn't "let it go" all that often. More often than not he still drops his arm down and slings it to first, which is where a lot of his errors are coming from still. When he does that, he has a pretty weak arm. But when he throws it right and he has a long throw and really lets it go, he can get something on it. I don't see that as an arm that once threw 92 MPH, but it isn't a below average arm when he lets it go either. It is a solid arm that can make the throw from deep in the hole. You don't see him do that often though, so it is no surprise that Mike didn't see it in a two game sample.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    So you're agreeing with me that his analysis was off-base?
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    I keep seeing this claim from Hamilton critics.

    I guess I'd like to see some examples of similar players and their walks drying up before I buy it. The Fangraphs guy didn't show it. Neither has anyone else that I know of.
    It is more of a common sense type of thing than a "so and so" did it in the past. If you were pitching and had the ability to throw the ball relatively close to where you wanted it, would you not throw Billy Hamilton strikes knowing that he isn't hitting it out of the park? MLB pitchers probably will do the same thing.

    The difficulties with trying to find examples is that unlike the Major Leagues, there simply aren't databases available with minor league numbers that are searchable like there are for the Majors. That means you have to scour league by league, year by year, for players and you have to know which players you are looking for to begin with. Not a task many are willing to take on.

  14. #103
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    So you're agreeing with me that his analysis was off-base?
    Not really. For when he saw Hamilton, it was probably pretty accurate.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    It is more of a common sense type of thing than a "so and so" did it in the past. If you were pitching and had the ability to throw the ball relatively close to where you wanted it, would you not throw Billy Hamilton strikes knowing that he isn't hitting it out of the park? MLB pitchers probably will do the same thing.

    The difficulties with trying to find examples is that unlike the Major Leagues, there simply aren't databases available with minor league numbers that are searchable like there are for the Majors. That means you have to scour league by league, year by year, for players and you have to know which players you are looking for to begin with. Not a task many are willing to take on.
    It's common sense to throw strikes, sure. But even major league pitchers aren't that great at it. How good would Edison Volquez be if he could simply throw strikes? But he can't. And there are more people like him in today's game than ever before. Saying it and doing it are miles apart-- even at the major league level.

    There have been a metric ton of players with high BB rates and no power that have done very, very well at the major league level. At this point, the onus of proof lies with those that make the claim that Hamilton isn't one of those players. I assumed Fangraphs would do work like that. The author of that post didn't. That, IMO, is pure laziness that most journalists wouldn't think of doing. If you make a claim, you need to show proof. He didn't. At all. That's a really poor piece of journalism. Poorer than most of my high school kids, in fact, as all he showed as evidence was anecdotal evidence limited to a handful of ABs and one highly dubious "quote" from a nebulous scout.

    His post would have gotten an F in my journalism class. Maybe a D- because of the scout quote.
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  16. #105
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Fourth, with the arm, Mike is both right and wrong. If I can ever figure out what is going on with my video editing program, I will be able to show actual response with video to this point. Hamilton simply doesn't "let it go" all that often. More often than not he still drops his arm down and slings it to first, which is where a lot of his errors are coming from still. When he does that, he has a pretty weak arm. But when he throws it right and he has a long throw and really lets it go, he can get something on it. I don't see that as an arm that once threw 92 MPH, but it isn't a below average arm when he lets it go either. It is a solid arm that can make the throw from deep in the hole. You don't see him do that often though, so it is no surprise that Mike didn't see it in a two game sample.
    Any chance Hamilton will be headed to the AFL to work on his defense?
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