Frankie Piliere had this in his chat today:
Billy Hamilton is drawing a lot of walks this season, but with his entire lack of power and his questionable strikeout rate (18% per 100 PA's), is he going to be able to keep up a solid walk rate in the Majors without improving in one of those aspects since pitchers won't be worried about him taking them out of the park while also knowing he can be struck out?
It's a mild concern and I know some scouts that have brought it up. He's going to be incredibly exciting and unique we'll have to see how consistently he can drive the ball against big league pitching.
Jason Parks had this from his chat today:
ddufourlogger (Louisville, KY): Hey Professor! Tell me about what you see in Billy Hamilton. Besides the obvious! I see little reason for the Reds not to stick him in CF next spring (or this winter) and see if he can get it down defensively. He's got to move off of SS, yes? 2B is locked up for the Reds for awhile, and CF seems the best spot to get him in the lineup, especially if Drew Stubbs is what he is at this point...
Jason Parks: Changing positions isn't as easy as just penciling him into the lineup at the 8. Hamilton is a well above-average athlete, and I agree with you that his skill-set might be better suited in CF, but the process of transition isn't an overnight situation. It would take time to acclimate to the routes/angles/responsibilities of the position, and that would need to occur as the bat continues to develop. It's a lot to put on a young player. I'm still not sold that his bat is going to provide much at the highest level. If you want the best Hamilton possible, you keep him in the minors for at least another season (and possibly two) in order to properly develop the bat and make the necessary transition to the outfield. If you want a big result, the extra patience will be worth it.