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Thread: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

  1. #166
    Two-Time Batting Champ Edd Roush's Avatar
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    He is now at 155 at-bats with a .310/.429/.413 slash line good for an .842 OPS at Pensacola.

    50 stolen bases.

    I really expected some struggles at AA as he adjusted to the higher league but that really has not been the vase at all...
    I really thought it was crazy to have Billy on the playoff roster just a month ago. I am not so sure anymore. Billy's speed could be a playoff game changer and I would not mind his bat off the bench. Especially since there is no real need for a Valdez or a Cairo on a playoff roster. I will be interested to see how the Reds handle this.

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  3. #167
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Watching the video, towards the end, with Hamilton playing defense at shortstop has me concerned. He always waits for the ball to come to him. He never charges the ball or takes a few steps in when he has time. He also seems to take a little time to get rid of the ball. As a result a lot of the plays at first are very close. Maybe he can get away with it in the minors, but in the majors, some of those ground balls will be base hits if he doesn't attack the ball a little more.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by JKam View Post
    Watching the video, towards the end, with Hamilton playing defense at shortstop has me concerned. He always waits for the ball to come to him. He never charges the ball or takes a few steps in when he has time. He also seems to take a little time to get rid of the ball. As a result a lot of the plays at first are very close. Maybe he can get away with it in the minors, but in the majors, some of those ground balls will be base hits if he doesn't attack the ball a little more.
    I see what Doug is saying about arm angle. In fact I'm wondering if a move to the OF would work. He doesn't get a lot on those throws. A move to second might be in order. But you can also hide bad arms in left.

    As to power, yeah, he'll get stronger but I don't see his body type filling out a lot. He's going to have channel Bret Butler.
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  5. #169
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Awesome to see him continue to produce. I'm becoming more and more of a believer every day that OBP rises.

  6. #170
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Bailey View Post
    Awesome to see him continue to produce. I'm becoming more and more of a believer every day that OBP rises.


    Exactly. Stunning to me it is higher than the .413 he had at bakersfield while moving to a league with better pitchers and defense.

  7. #171
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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.
    I finally saw Billy in person here in Mississippi and what I saw reinforced the opinion I had from the long trail of stats. Billy has tremendous athletic ability, but it vastly outstrips his baseball judgment/experience.

    If called up, the reason Billy would turn into a Zone whipping boy is the large number of times he gets picked off. I saw a player with very quick twitch muscles, but just not a lot of baseball instinct. On his steal in the first inning, he did not get a good jump at all but his speed covered the mistake a bit... that said, a good throw would have got him. In the field he can move quickly to a ball after he see's it, but he lacks the fielders instinct of moving to the ball from the second its hit. The players I have talked to about this say they kind of know where the ball is going to be because of the sound and angle of the bat. Billy just does not have that ability yet.

    That said, this is a focused young man, but he comes from a realtively sheltered world. taylorsville is about as deep south sticks as you are going to find, even though it is not all that far from jackson. The main reason i am concerned about the call up is that he needs a little more time to mentally mature. He currently has humility, but i would say he has a tenuous grasp on it, and too much spotlight right now could really hurt.

    The difference between Billy the solid major leaguer and Billy the never was will come down to the amount of work, both intellectual and physical, Billy puts in over the next 2-3 years to gain the skills he currently lacks. The spotlight could shatter his humility and focus.

    Bottom line... I like the kid. I agree with every one of Doug's complaints but feel that under his CURRENT mental makeup, that these can and will be overcome/trained out of him. He listens and works and has the natural physical capability. That is all you can ask from a prospect.

    I say don't mess with that by doing a premature call up.

  8. #172
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    Exactly. Stunning to me it is higher than the .413 he had at bakersfield while moving to a league with better pitchers and defense.
    I fully expected struggles in a pitcher's park in a tougher league as well. Nice to see his bat is proving itself against tougher competition.

    Hamilton leads the Southern League in obp and (obviously) stolen bases.

    His BA ranks sixth in the league.

    His OPS ranks 11th.

    His BB rate is the tops in the league (as far as I can tell). His K:BB ratio is nearly 1:1.

    Another interesting tidbit is that Hamilton has cut his error total almost in half while at Pensacola. Obviously, the new AA field is superior to the one at Bakersfield and the lights, too, seem to shine a bit brighter. That may give hope to those that dream of Slidin' Billy patrolling the position Barry, and Davey once did. (6 errors extrapolated over an entire season would put him well into the safely above average range in relation to both all minor league SSs and upper minor league SSs with 21.) With his speed (and the range it helps provide him), all Hamilton need be is "good enough" with the arm and glove to be truly outstanding defensively. "Good enough" can be measured fairly reliably, in this instance, with the amount of errors, especially throwing miscues. He'd be, in essence, the anti-Shawon Dunston.
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    No scout I have ever talked to or seen quoted anywhere seems to agree with you on this one. At least to the point where he will grow into some home run power. He might get stronger, but that may take him from 20 power to 30 power.

    DFS, if he can improve the consistency in which he uses the correct arm slot, then yes, I do think he could stick at shortstop. But he has to correct it.

    I uplaoded 7 minutes worth of video last night of Hamilton. Watch it. Come to your own conclusions.

    http://youtu.be/bxlAwVEdcAc (Link in case you want to watch it in HD and full screen, which you can't do while embedding it on this board.

    Billy Hamilton playing for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos - YouTube

    Doug:

    I just watched through all of this and compared it with what i got at the games here. i was wondering about your thoughts on the following:

    1. Speed out of the box. I noticed two things. Billy is much faster out of the box when bunting rather than swinging. When he swings, Billy has a hitch after contact where he allows his head to briefly track the ball... most hitters have this, but when Billy does it, it causes the weight shift for his first step to be messed up. Joe Morgan always said that speed comes from your second step. He called it the power step. On leaving the box following swings, Billy never seems to get that power step. The hitch from following the ball causes his first 2 steps to be... i dont know how to describe it... but they are a bit off. The hitch is not there when he bunts or when he steals. I would train this out of him by making him take at least three steps on every foul ball. Those first steps following a swing need to get to be as instinctual as his first steps on a steal.

    2. Pre-swing motion. At first glance, Billy seems all over the place pre swing, but then when i slowed down the vid and watched, he does an excellent job of getting set right before the ball arrives. Watch every swing and superimpose the vids on each other. he has an IDENTICAL freeze point. His swing is incredibly quick and flat and he hits the ball hard and where it is pitched. I found this to be more encouraging than even his speed.

    3. The walks. How does a guy that no pitcher wants on the bases and without any power walk so much? At first glance i though it was just he has a great eye. I now believe that his consitent, level, and very quick swing gives him control over the entire middle of the zone and that pitchers are forced to nibble to get strikes. He seems to have a good eye for changing speeds, but be off guard from changes in location. Thus they are always looking to paint the black.

    just my truly amateur thoughts from observing him. Interested in your thoughts.

  10. #174
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by Brisco View Post
    Doug:

    I just watched through all of this and compared it with what i got at the games here. i was wondering about your thoughts on the following:

    1. Speed out of the box. I noticed two things. Billy is much faster out of the box when bunting rather than swinging. When he swings, Billy has a hitch after contact where he allows his head to briefly track the ball... most hitters have this, but when Billy does it, it causes the weight shift for his first step to be messed up. Joe Morgan always said that speed comes from your second step. He called it the power step. On leaving the box following swings, Billy never seems to get that power step. The hitch from following the ball causes his first 2 steps to be... i dont know how to describe it... but they are a bit off. The hitch is not there when he bunts or when he steals. I would train this out of him by making him take at least three steps on every foul ball. Those first steps following a swing need to get to be as instinctual as his first steps on a steal.

    2. Pre-swing motion. At first glance, Billy seems all over the place pre swing, but then when i slowed down the vid and watched, he does an excellent job of getting set right before the ball arrives. Watch every swing and superimpose the vids on each other. he has an IDENTICAL freeze point. His swing is incredibly quick and flat and he hits the ball hard and where it is pitched. I found this to be more encouraging than even his speed.

    3. The walks. How does a guy that no pitcher wants on the bases and without any power walk so much? At first glance i though it was just he has a great eye. I now believe that his consitent, level, and very quick swing gives him control over the entire middle of the zone and that pitchers are forced to nibble to get strikes. He seems to have a good eye for changing speeds, but be off guard from changes in location. Thus they are always looking to paint the black.

    just my truly amateur thoughts from observing him. Interested in your thoughts.
    Love his swing, especially that he's willing to sacrifice power for contact. He's willingly implementing his speed as a primary weapon by using a short, quick stroke to the ball. It's a two-strike approach at all times, pretty much.

    IMO, his patience/ eye is for real. He reminds me a great deal of mid-career Dave Collins, actually. Their minor league numbers are similar, though Hamilton's speed numbers are much, much better. I'd gladly take that from SS and Hamilton for a decade or so.
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  11. #175
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Didn't he go to AA at about the All Star break? And he's already at 50 SBs? Is it just me or is that just nuts?

  12. #176
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo View Post
    I see what Doug is saying about arm angle. In fact I'm wondering if a move to the OF would work. He doesn't get a lot on those throws. A move to second might be in order. But you can also hide bad arms in left.

    As to power, yeah, he'll get stronger but I don't see his body type filling out a lot. He's going to have channel Bret Butler.
    That's why I'm thinking that IF his throwing mechanics don't get straightened out he'll probably end up in left.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    I fully expected struggles in a pitcher's park in a tougher league as well. Nice to see his bat is proving itself against tougher competition.

    Hamilton leads the Southern League in obp and (obviously) stolen bases.

    His BA ranks sixth in the league.

    His OPS ranks 11th.

    His BB rate is the tops in the league (as far as I can tell). His K:BB ratio is nearly 1:1.

    Another interesting tidbit is that Hamilton has cut his error total almost in half while at Pensacola. Obviously, the new AA field is superior to the one at Bakersfield and the lights, too, seem to shine a bit brighter. That may give hope to those that dream of Slidin' Billy patrolling the position Barry, and Davey once did. (6 errors extrapolated over an entire season would put him well into the safely above average range in relation to both all minor league SSs and upper minor league SSs with 21.) With his speed (and the range it helps provide him), all Hamilton need be is "good enough" with the arm and glove to be truly outstanding defensively. "Good enough" can be measured fairly reliably, in this instance, with the amount of errors, especially throwing miscues. He'd be, in essence, the anti-Shawon Dunston.
    I don't see how a "good enough" defender can also be considered outstanding defensively.

    I'd also take the error totals with a grain of salt.
    "Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that."

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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfandan View Post
    I don't see how a "good enough" defender can also be considered outstanding defensively.

    I'd also take the error totals with a grain of salt.
    With his range capabilities, Hamilton will get to more balls than most other shortstops. An average glove with an average arm and phenomenal range would grade out as a positive defensive player in any metric used. Ozzie Smith, for example, had many seasons wherein he amassed 20 errors or would have over the course of a true 150-game season. His range, however, made him a Hall of Famer.

    (This is not to say Hamilton will be like Ozzie Smith defensively. But, were he to keep his error total in that 20-25 spread, I'd insist his speed and range would make him well above average as a SS.)

    A SS that grades out as a defensive plus guy with a .300-ish BA-capable bat and an obp that approaches .375, not to mention the possibility of 100+ stolen bases? Yes, please.
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  14. #178
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    With his range capabilities, Hamilton will get to more balls than most other shortstops. An average glove with an average arm and phenomenal range would grade out as a positive defensive player in any metric used. Ozzie Smith, for example, had many seasons wherein he amassed 20 errors or would have over the course of a true 150-game season. His range, however, made him a Hall of Famer.

    (This is not to say Hamilton will be like Ozzie Smith defensively. But, were he to keep his error total in that 20-25 spread, I'd insist his speed and range would make him well above average as a SS.)

    A SS that grades out as a defensive plus guy with a .300-ish BA-capable bat and an obp that approaches .375, not to mention the possibility of 100+ stolen bases? Yes, please.
    How is he defensively now? Have you seen any scouting reports that say that he's truly outstanding defensively?

    And you do realize that paying too much attention to error totals can be misleading?

    (By the way, I think Ozzie's back flips probably played into his reputation and HOF election.)
    Last edited by redsfandan; 08-28-2012 at 06:02 PM.
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfandan View Post
    How is he defensively now? Have you seen any scouting reports that say that he's truly outstanding defensively?

    And you do realize that paying too much attention to error totals can be misleading?

    (By the way, I think Ozzie's back flips probably played into his reputation and HOF election.)
    IMO, his defense needs work. Consistency in throwing across the diamond is a key. His glove has a bit of iron in it as well. But I'll gladly live with 20-25 errors if he can give me range that he's exhibited in spurts in the minors. Fwiw, I've seen a couple recent scouting reports that say he's capable at short. Nothing more.)

    I point to the error total as a way of measuring his throwing tendencies and the metal work in his leather. His range is going to be fine. More than that, IMO. The improvement he's shown in his arm and glove since moving up to AA has been promising. The error total, in his case, is fairly relevant to whether he sticks there.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
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  16. #180
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    Re: Billy Hamilton continuing to excel at AA

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    IMO, his defense needs work. Consistency in throwing across the diamond is a key. His glove has a bit of iron in it as well. But I'll gladly live with 20-25 errors if he can give me range that he's exhibited in spurts in the minors. Fwiw, I've seen a couple recent scouting reports that say he's capable at short. Nothing more.)

    I point to the error total as a way of measuring his throwing tendencies and the metal work in his leather. His range is going to be fine. More than that, IMO. The improvement he's shown in his arm and glove since moving up to AA has been promising. The error total, in his case, is fairly relevant to whether he sticks there.
    Well, I'm not picking on you Scrap but I think some baseball/Reds fans have been blinded by his speed into delevoping one heck of a man crush.

    Brutus posted that Doug has been going out of his way to downplay anyone's excitement. I think Doug has just been trying to bring people back to earth a little bit as far as expectations for Hamilton go. He's still a prospect which means that he's pretty much all potential until he proves in the majors otherwise.
    "Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that."


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