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Thread: Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL

  1. #31
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    Re: Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL

    The BBs and the Ks go together, to an extent. Because Hamilton is willing to take pitches and get to two strikes, his ABs are more likely to result in walks or Ks. The BBs will go down in the bigs, for sure, so he's going to have to develop a little peskier two strike approach in order to bring the Ks down too, I would think.
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  3. #32
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    Re: Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    The BBs and the Ks go together, to an extent. Because Hamilton is willing to take pitches and get to two strikes, his ABs are more likely to result in walks or Ks. The BBs will go down in the bigs, for sure, so he's going to have to develop a little peskier two strike approach in order to bring the Ks down too, I would think.
    Not sure I agree.

    Hamilton's strikeout rate actually DROPPED as he got more selective at the plate and took more walks. Not swinging at the pitcher's pitch is a tried-and-true method to make better contact.

    I'm also not sold on his BB rate plummeting once he hits the bigs. As I mentioned, most of the speedsters who are allergic to walks in the majors were just as allergic to them in the minors. Selective slap-hitting speedsters like Brett Butler and Luis Castillo were able to carry their quality walk rates from the minors into the majors. I see no reason to believe Hamilton cannot do the same.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    The BBs will go down in the bigs, for sure...
    I agree that this sounds like it ought to be true.

    Looking at specific players that are similar to Hamilton in terms of speed and power (Willie Wilson, Brett Butler, Juan Pierre, Kenny Lofton, Rafael Furcal, Vince Coleman, Dee Gordon, Omar Moreno), that just isn't true. A few increase. Some actually improve their BB:K rate at the major league level. Most stay around the same.
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  5. #34
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    Re: Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL

    Looking at specific players that are similar to Hamilton in terms of speed and power (Willie Wilson, Brett Butler, Juan Pierre, Kenny Lofton, Rafael Furcal, Vince Coleman, Dee Gordon, Omar Moreno), that just isn't true. A few increase. Some actually improve their BB:K rate at the major league level. Most stay around the same.
    Yeah, I'm just conjecturing here. I will guess that Hamilton's walk rate decreases initially. His K rate will remain high, especially if he's promoted soon. Over time, he'll work to bring it down.
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    Re: Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    Yeah, I'm just conjecturing here. I will guess that Hamilton's walk rate decreases initially. His K rate will remain high, especially if he's promoted soon. Over time, he'll work to bring it down.
    Hamilton doesn't have a 'high' K rate. He has been about league average at every stop in the minors. He K's in about 20% of plate appearances for his career, which is right in line with the average for each league he has played in. As a matter of fact, he was slightly better than average this year thanks to his 18% K rate while with Bakersfield. Though it bounced back up 20% once he was promoted to Pensacola, his K:BB ratio held steady thanks to a similar jump in his walk rate.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL

    Hamilton doesn't have a 'high' K rate. He has been about league average at every stop in the minors. He K's in about 20% of plate appearances for his career, which is right in line with the average for each league he has played in. As a matter of fact, he was slightly better than average this year thanks to his 18% K rate while with Bakersfield. Though it bounced back up 20% once he was promoted to Pensacola, his K:BB ratio held steady thanks to a similar jump in his walk rate.
    Good info. To my eyes, he's got a pretty big swing for the kind of player he is. That'll probably bring some power with the Ks. Some may brand him a slap guy who should cut down his swing, and I'd like to see him sacrifice power with two strikes, but at this point there are not likely to be big changes in his mechanics.
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    Re: Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve4192 View Post
    Hamilton doesn't have a 'high' K rate. He has been about league average at every stop in the minors. He K's in about 20% of plate appearances for his career, which is right in line with the average for each league he has played in. As a matter of fact, he was slightly better than average this year thanks to his 18% K rate while with Bakersfield. Though it bounced back up 20% once he was promoted to Pensacola, his K:BB ratio held steady thanks to a similar jump in his walk rate.
    Sure, Hamilton doesn't have a high K rate..... except for when you compare him to other players who have no power, in which case he has a very high K rate. If he is going to have value at the plate, he can't strike out 20% of the time in the Majors.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Sure, Hamilton doesn't have a high K rate..... except for when you compare him to other players who have no power, in which case he has a very high K rate. If he is going to have value at the plate, he can't strike out 20% of the time in the Majors.
    I'm comparing him to the league as a whole, not individual players.

    Also, for a guy you claim has no power, his slugging percentage sure does not support that opinion. His SLG was a tiny bit better than league average in the Pioneer, California, and Southern leagues and a tiny bit worse than average in the Midwest league. The only time he has been significantly worse than league average was his pathetic 2009 pro debut in the GCL. He's never going to be a home run threat, but he delivers enough extra base pop to keep pitchers honest.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve4192 View Post
    I'm comparing him to the league as a whole, not individual players.

    Also, for a guy you claim has no power, his slugging percentage sure does not support that opinion. His SLG was a tiny bit better than league average in the Pioneer, California, and Southern leagues and a tiny bit worse than average in the Midwest league. The only time he has been significantly worse than league average was his pathetic 2009 pro debut in the GCL. He's never going to be a home run threat, but he delivers enough extra base pop to keep pitchers honest.
    He has 7 career home runs in 4 minor league seasons and 3 or 4 of those are inside the park home runs. He has no power. He has a lot of speed and can turn singles into doubles, doubles into triples and a triple a year into a home run. Pitchers won't fear throwing him dead read middle of the zone fastballs.

    This season he played in two incredibly friendly home run ballparks. He hit one baseball over the fence.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    He has 7 career home runs in 4 minor league seasons and 3 or 4 of those are inside the park home runs. He has no power. He has a lot of speed and can turn singles into doubles, doubles into triples and a triple a year into a home run. Pitchers won't fear throwing him dead read middle of the zone fastballs.

    This season he played in two incredibly friendly home run ballparks. He hit one baseball over the fence.
    I agree he lacks home run power. That doesn't mean he lacks extra base power. Doubles and triples matter too.

    The notion that none of Billy's doubles and triples are legit because of his speed is poppycock. You still have to drive the ball into the gaps or down the lines to get an extra base hit no matter how fast you are. He might get a couple cheap doubles where he plops a ball in front of the fielder and catches him napping, but the vast majority of his extra base hits are legit drives that cause the fielder to run laterally or backwards, negating their ability to make a strong throw into the infield.
    Last edited by Steve4192; 11-24-2012 at 12:58 PM.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve4192 View Post
    I agree he lacks home run power. That doesn't mean he lacks extra base power. Doubles and triples matter too.

    The notion that none of Billy's doubles and triples only come because of his speed is poppycock. You still have to drive the ball into the gaps or down the lines to get an extra base hit no matter how fast you are. He might get a couple cheap doubles where he plops a ball in front of the fielder and catches his napping, but the vast majority of his extra base hits are legit drives that cause the fielder to run laterally or backwards, negating their ability to make a strong throw into the infield.
    Pitchers aren't scared to give up doubles.

    Of course some of his doubles and triples are in the gaps. But pitchers aren't going out and fearing throwing a strike to a guy who isn't taking you deep. That means some of his walks will dry up. That means he is going to need to make more contact to remain a quality hitter.

    The key for Hamilton is going to be just how many walks he can maintain at the MLB level.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    He has 7 career home runs in 4 minor league seasons and 3 or 4 of those are inside the park home runs. He has no power. He has a lot of speed and can turn singles into doubles, doubles into triples and a triple a year into a home run. Pitchers won't fear throwing him dead read middle of the zone fastballs.

    This season he played in two incredibly friendly home run ballparks. He hit one baseball over the fence.
    This.

    He's a guy no pitcher should ever walk. There should be no fear in throwing him strikes.

    EDIT to add: This isn't an insult, but they will make him earn his way on. Juan Pierre's scouting reports were always "throw him high fastballs to get him to hit the ball in the air. Throw him strikes." Hamilton's opponents will get similar instructions.
    Last edited by TOBTTReds; 11-24-2012 at 01:03 PM.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL

    The current major leaguer whose game is most similar to Billy's IMO is Michael Bourn. Bourne also struck out about 20% of the time in the minors and never cracked more than six home runs in a season. But he made up for those shortcomings at the plate by lacing doubles and triples all over the field and drawing his fair share of walks. Billy is doing the exact same things as Bourn and is doing it at a younger age. Bourne is still striking out a bunch and putting up quality offensive seasons despite his lack of HR power. There is no reason Billy can't do the same.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL

    Quote Originally Posted by TOBTTReds View Post
    This.

    He's a guy no pitcher should ever walk. There should be no fear in throwing him strikes.

    EDIT to add: This isn't an insult, but they will make him earn his way on. Juan Pierre's scouting reports were always "throw him high fastballs to get him to hit the ball in the air. Throw him strikes." Hamilton's opponents will get similar instructions.
    The same could be said of Brett Butler. Or Luis Castillo. Or Michael Bourn. Regardless of whether a guy can hit the ball out of the park or not, good plate discipline will yield it's fair share of walks. As long as pitchers aren't knocking the bat out of his hands, Billy should be able to maintain a decent walk rate if he maintains his current approach.

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    Re: Billy Hamilton named top prospect from the AFL

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve4192 View Post
    The current major leaguer whose game is most similar to Billy's IMO is Michael Bourn. Bourne also struck out about 20% of the time in the minors and never cracked more than six home runs in a season. But he made up for those shortcomings at the plate by lacing doubles and triples all over the field and drawing his fair share of walks. Billy is doing the exact same things as Bourn and is doing it at a younger age. Bourne is still striking out a bunch and putting up quality offensive seasons despite his lack of HR power. There is no reason Billy can't do the same.
    Bourn is a decent comp, but let's be sure to note that Bourn hit more baseballs over the fence every full season he had in the minors than Hamilton has in his professional career. There is a difference between the lack of power of Hamilton and the lack of power of Bourn. Here is the difference though, we have seen that Bourn has been able to translate that skillset. We don't know if Hamilton can. A lot of guys with their profile haven't been able to. Until Hamilton shows that he can, people are going to be rightfully skeptical.


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