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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Baseball America: 2013 Top 100 Prospects List

1. Jurickson Profar, ss/2b, TEX
2. Dylan Bundy, rhp, BAL
3. Oscar Taveras, of, STL
4. Wil Myers, of/3b, TB
5. Jose Fernandez, rhp, MIA
6. Shelby Miller, rhp, STL
7. Gerrit Cole, rhp, PIT
8. Xander Bogaerts, ss, BOS
9. Miguel Sano, 3b, MIN
10. Byron Buxton, of, MIN
11. Zack Wheeler, rhp, NYM
12. Tyler Skaggs, lhp, ARI
13. Carlos Correa, ss, HOU
14. Trevor Bauer, rhp, CLE
15. Christian Yelich, of, MIA
16. Javier Baez, ss, CHC
17. Mike Zunino, c, SEA
18. Taijuan Walker, rhp, SEA
19. Jameson Taillon, rhp, PIT
20. Billy Hamilton, of/ss, CIN

Thanks to Butch.

Repoz Posted: February 19, 2013 at 02:27 PM | 47 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: prospects

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   1. Ellis Valentine's Bright Future Posted: February 19, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4371961)
Am I correct in thinking that Myers being listed as OF/3B is just a reflection of past games, but that Myers is in reality just an OF at this point?
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2013 at 03:07 PM (#4371975)
Myers played some 3B last year. It was kinda bizarre. They said they wanted "positional flexibility" but I have no idea what it was for. I guess he did okay, but he's really a RF at this point.

Kinda surprised Buxton is that high. Most others seem to disagree, but I know BA likes them toolsy. I've not see Fernandez that high on a lot of lists, but I tend to agree, I think he's pretty legit.

Trevor Bauer #14, Didi Gregorious #80 FWIW. But, Bauer is a bad rapper.
   3. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 19, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4371977)
I think that Pirate fans generally see Sano as someone who was in their pocket, but who was lost because of some combination of bungling by Pirate management or unfair dealing by Sano's agent. Is that how the situation was seen generally? Do Twins fans see him as someone they plucked away against all odds?
   4. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 19, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4372063)
Maybe I'm being unfair but I feel like Hamilton is a bit too highly regarded. The "65" defense rating seems ambitious for a guy switching positions and I'm a skeptic of players with a low minor league ISO. I feel like there is a baseline of power that is necessary that Hamilton may not have. The speed is game changing of course and he gets on base well but I'm not sold on his bat playing at the higher levels.
   5. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 19, 2013 at 04:46 PM (#4372080)
I think that Pirate fans generally see Sano as someone who was in their pocket, but who was lost because of some combination of bungling by Pirate management or unfair dealing by Sano's agent.


The agent, Plummer, basically admitted as much in the comment threads under Dejan's original reporting on the issue. He promised the Pirates the right to beat any offer on the board, the Twins made an offer only on the condition that he wouldn't shop it, and he accepted the Twins' offer and ###### the Pirates. He's a snake and an #######.
   6. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 19, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4372090)
Do Twins fans see him as someone they plucked away against all odds?


Twins fan are just plain thankful (and hopeful) and don't care why he is there.
   7. Ellis Valentine's Bright Future Posted: February 19, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4372091)
This raises a great question about the value of prospects.

As an exercice, (building on Jose's pont), if we magically knew for certain that Hamilton's career would match Posednik's or perhaps Pierre's, but knew nothing of everyone else's future, where would Hamilton fall on this list? How much is a #20 prospect worth on average?

I am guessing we would move him up a fair amount, but I would love to hear form someone smarter than me.

Having said that, whether Hamilton can hit as well as a Pierre is still in question (as well as the defense as mentioned above).
   8. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 19, 2013 at 05:06 PM (#4372105)
How much is a #20 prospect worth on average?


We had this discussion a bit during the draft last year. MLB was giving comps that in many cases seemed pretty pedestrian (Rick Helling is one I remember) but if you look at BBRef's database you'll find that even a fairly ordinary MLB player is a pretty good get on draft day. I'd bet the same is true with the top 100. I have no doubt that the ceiling at the top of this list is All Star/HoF caliber player but that very very few of even the best prospects get there.

Just as a quick test as a Red Sox fan #8 (Bogaerts) is the guy I'm interested in. From 2000-2004 the #8 prospects were;

Rafael Furcal
Ryan Franklin
Wilson Betemit
Hideki Matsui
Greg Miller

Really "steady MLB player" is a pretty good outcome for any of these guys.
   9. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 19, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4372128)
As an exercice, (building on Jose's pont), if we magically knew for certain that Hamilton's career would match Posednik's or perhaps Pierre's, but knew nothing of everyone else's future, where would Hamilton fall on this list? How much is a #20 prospect worth on average?


Pierre has 3X the career WAR that ScottPod does...

anyway:
#20th prospect (BA) 1998-2011:
2011 20. Chris Sale, lhp, White Sox
2010 20. Logan Morrison, 1b, Marlins
2009 20. Gordon Beckham, ss, White Sox
2008 20. Fernando Martinez of, Mets
2007 20. Mike Pelfrey, rhp, Mets
2006 20. Carlos Quentin, of, Diamondbacks
2005 20. Jeff Niemann, rhp, Devil Rays
2004 20. Josh Barfield 2b, Padres
2003 20. Jeremy Bonderman, rhp, Tigers
2002 20. Brandon Phillips, ss, Expos
2001 20. Bobby Bradley, rhp, Pirates
2000 20. A.J. Burnett, rhp, Marlins
1999 20. Matt Riley, lhp, Orioles
1998 20. Sean Casey, 1b, Indians

21st:
1998 21. Darnell McDonald, of, Orioles
1999 21. A. J. Burnett, rhp, Marlins
2000 21. Gookie Dawkins, ss, Reds
2001 21. J.R House, c, Pirates
2002 21. Justin Morneau, 1b, Twins
2003 21. B.J. Upton, ss, Devil Rays
2004 21. David Wright 3b, Mets
2005 21. Brian Dopirak, 1b, Cub
2006 21. Nick Markakis, of, Orioles
2007 21. Matt Garza, rhp, Twins
2008 21. Rick Porcello rhp, Tigers
2009 21. Rick Porcello, rhp, Tigers
2010 21. Ryan Westmoreland, of, Red Sox
2011 21. Jacob Turner, rhp, Tigers

19th:
1998 19. Richard Hidalgo, of, Astros
1999 19. Pat Burrell, 1b, Phillies
2000 19. Josh Beckett, rhp, Marlins
2001 19. Jerome Williams, rhp, Giants
2002 19. Jerome Williams, rhp, Giants
2003 19. Hanley Ramirez, ss, Red Sox
2004 19. J.J. Hardy ss, Brewers
2005 19. Chad Billingsley, rhp, Dodgers
2006 19. Andy LaRoche, 3b, Dodgers
2007 19. Andy LaRoche, 3b, Dodgers
2008 19. Elvis Andrus ss, Rangers
2009 19. Alcides Escobar, ss, Brewers
2010 19. Aaron Hicks, of, Twins
2011 19. Mike Montgomery, lhp, Royals

Repeating as #19 appears to be a bad sign
   10. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 19, 2013 at 05:27 PM (#4372141)
Lots of perfectly decent MLB players were never ranked (top 100) as prospects
Pierre has 15 career WAR, never made BA top 100 even though he hit .331 in the minors and was, you know, kind of fast...
Scott Pods never hit a lick in the minors so I'm not surprised he wasn't ranked (his career OPS+ of 88 is probably about 15-20 points above what you'd project from his minor league record, his .314/.379/.443 (116 OPS+) rookie campaign stands out like a sky scraper- as single season flukes go it's quite a doozy- more anomalous than what Melky did last year...
   11. Ellis Valentine's Bright Future Posted: February 19, 2013 at 05:28 PM (#4372144)
FWIW a better list than I would have thought.
   12. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: February 19, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4372149)
To me, Hamilton looks like Otis Nixon minus some defense (and hopefully minus the drug habit). That doesn't seem very useful to me.
   13. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 19, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4372178)
To me, Hamilton looks like Otis Nixon minus some defense (and hopefully minus the drug habit).

Not to mention hopefully not looking like Otis Nixon.
   14. jacjacatk Posted: February 19, 2013 at 06:35 PM (#4372187)
Hamilton is 320/389 (82.3%) in SB in 1711 MiLB PAs. Nixon was 384/484 (79.3%) in 2991 MiLB PAs prior to his becoming a MLB regular.

Hamilton's MiLB OPS is .753 with an ISO of .100 and K% of 20.3. Nixon's (again prior to becoming an MLB regular) OPS was .720 with an ISO of .040 and a K% of 15.3.

Michael Bourn's MiLB numbers are 164/192 (85.4%) in 1812 PAs, OPS 770, ISO .108, K% 18.7.

Hamilton's roughly twice the base-stealer either of them was, a better hitter than Nixon was, and in roughly the same class as a hitter as Bourn. Yes, Hamilton hasn't even faced AAA pitching yet, but he was younger than either Nixon or Bourn for the levels he has faced successfully. If he's capable of becoming a vaguely competent CF, there's no reason not to rank him pretty highly as prospect.

   15. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 19, 2013 at 07:17 PM (#4372212)
Hamilton's... a better hitter than Nixon was

my initial impression was that Nixon would have played in far lower offensive contexts than Hamilton- but looking at Hamilton's leagues versus Nixon's says, no.

Nixon's utter lack of power is stunning, dude didn't even hit doubles, let alone triples and homers, Jason Tyner was a slugger compared to Otis.

OTOH Nixon stands as an exception to the "rule" that high average/+walks guys who don't drive the ball tend to evaporate at higher minor league levels/MLB when pitchers with good stuff force them to hit the ball- Nixon's minor league game translated to the majors about as well as it was possible for a guy with his batting profile.

   16. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 19, 2013 at 07:21 PM (#4372214)
Anyway, as I think Emeigh pointed out in an earlier thread, Vince Coleman is actually a real good minor league comp for Hamilton.
   17. flournoy Posted: February 19, 2013 at 07:40 PM (#4372226)
One reason why Nixon's extra base hits are so low, and perhaps a reason why he translated well to the majors, is that he was an exceptionally good bunter. I don't know how to look up how many of his hits were bunt singles, but I remember him doing that a lot.
   18. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 19, 2013 at 07:46 PM (#4372229)
but I remember him doing that a lot.


And I remember him doing it one ####### time too many.
   19. flournoy Posted: February 19, 2013 at 07:53 PM (#4372232)
Yeah, unfortunately the only specific instance of Nixon bunting that I can remember is one that I'd prefer to forget.
   20. John Northey Posted: February 19, 2013 at 08:00 PM (#4372238)
The only bunt of Nixon's I recall all Jay fans love to recall :)
   21. flournoy Posted: February 19, 2013 at 08:14 PM (#4372246)
Yes, yes, we speak of the same bunt, now please stop.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: February 19, 2013 at 08:30 PM (#4372256)
OTOH Nixon stands as an exception to the "rule" that high average/+walks guys who don't drive the ball tend to evaporate at higher minor league levels/MLB when pitchers with good stuff force them to hit the ball- Nixon's minor league game translated to the majors about as well as it was possible for a guy with his batting profile.

I would say Al Leiter proves this "rule" doesn't hold. He's a natural experiment of how often you'd walk if you just stood there -- about as often as Juan Pierre. I'd bet the difference between Pierre and Nixon is mainly Pierre swinging at pitches outside the zone more often. Granted, had Nixon had Pierre's walk rate, he wouldn't have lasted. Gary Pettis is another guy who parlayed walks, steals and defense into a pretty long career.

Hamilton's roughly twice the base-stealer either of them was,

Not really. He attempts steals much more often but he gets caught at about the same rate (ideally we'd have pickoffs in here too). The value of base-stealing is primarily in the rate, not the number, and their rates were fairly similar (better than Nixon, worse than Bourn). ZiPS puts Hamilton's top comp as Milt Cuyler. That looks like a pretty good comp to me and Cuyler was sort of Pettis-lite. He'll most likely have a ML career of decent length but I'm having a hard time seeing him being much better than Vince Coleman or Tony Womack or similar speedsters who couldn't hit. On the one hand you'd think he'd translate well to CF defensively but the number of big base stealers who got shifted away from SS/CF is pretty long -- Brock, Raines, Henderson, Womack, Coleman. Obviously Coleman as a defensive average CF is a much better player (about 16 WAR career) and Hamilton walked a lot more in the minors than Coleman did.

So realistic downside of Tony Campana, median outcome around Cuyler, realistic upside of Pettis/Coleman depending on mix of hitting/defense.

   23. Sweatpants Posted: February 19, 2013 at 08:49 PM (#4372265)
One reason why Nixon's extra base hits are so low, and perhaps a reason why he translated well to the majors, is that he was an exceptionally good bunter. I don't know how to look up how many of his hits were bunt singles, but I remember him doing that a lot.
It's in his "batting" page on BR (the one that says "batting" near the top, or the one that says "more stats" next to his standard batting), under situational hitting.

He did do it a lot - he led the majors in bunt hits in 1991, 1994, 1995, and 1997.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: February 19, 2013 at 08:59 PM (#4372271)
A bit more:

ZiPS projects him to 54/17 in steals which is the same as Nixon's career ML rate and is roughly how many steals Nixon had in his full-time seasons (ZiPS is projecting Hamilton at 650 PA).

The slash line is 267/330/345 which is worse than Pierre's career line, right in line with Coleman, better than Womack and probably Nixon (Hamilton has lower OBP but higher SLG).

It puts him at 1.6 WAR in those 650 PA while giving him +1 on defense. I assume that's +1 in CF. That WAR sounds about right if he's an average defensive CF. That overall production is in line with Nixon's oWAR in his period of fairly heavy play (ages 32-39). That's a good 4th OF or a lower tier starter -- i.e a guy you give 400 PA to. If he's an average defensive LF, he loses about 1 WAR per season and is now 5th OF material (20-30 starts, defense/running sub).
   25. PreservedFish Posted: February 20, 2013 at 04:28 AM (#4372403)
Hamilton's roughly twice the base-stealer either of them was,

Not really. He attempts steals much more often but he gets caught at about the same rate (ideally we'd have pickoffs in here too). The value of base-stealing is primarily in the rate, not the number, and their rates were fairly similar (better than Nixon, worse than Bourn).


I don't expect that things will actually work out this way, BUT, let's suppose that Hamilton runs half as often in the majors as he did in the minors, and that he's smart enough that he mostly eliminates the riskier attempts. His SB% could skyrocket. Or, to put it another way, if you forced the other guys to steal as often as Hamilton does, their rates would definitely go down. Remember we're talking about skills here now, not value.

I guess I'm more bullish than Hamilton than most of you folks here. He was a 2nd round pick and has been a BA top 50 prospect three years running. That seems significant. And I don't really understand the undertone of pessimism in Walt's last paragraph ... 1.6 WAR for a 22 year old is fine, isn't it? I guess I don't know why comparisons are all to limp speedsters and not to guys like Carl Crawford, Kenny Lofton, Jose Reyes, Chone Figgins, Brian Roberts, you know, the punchless leadoff guys that actually learned how to hit line drives.

The Cuyler comparison isn't very illuminating. Cuyler peaked at age 22, with an excellent 3.9 WAR rookie year, and then he fell apart. His stolen base attempts plummeted down to just about nothing. Something went wrong there.

Also, Milt Cuyler is on LinkedIn. Sadly we do not share any connections.
   26. Walt Davis Posted: February 20, 2013 at 07:14 AM (#4372408)
First, as ZiPS shows, Hamilton's bat doesn't (currently) translate well to MLB. That's an 81 OPS+. Carl Crawford was in the majors at age 20 and putting up an 81 OPS+ in the majors at 21 and made a big jump at 22 including a jump to a 150 ISO. Crawford is listed as 6'2" and 215, Hamilton is listed at 6'1" 160. He's not going to develop power.

But what exactly is negative? Coleman had 6000 PA and 11 WAR. He was a league average player for the first 6 years of his career. I highlighted Nixon's "full-time" career which was 14 oWAR in about 7 seasons of PAs -- again an average player (they ding his defense badly at the end so he ends up below-average). Figgins -- sure, OK, he was 3 wins above average in about 8 full seasons of play.

The question is how good will he be defensively ... and nobody knows. We know he couldn't handle SS, we know he has the speed for CF. But so did lots of guys and they got shifted. If he handles CF, he'll be an average player. If he's very good in CF, he'll be above average. If he can't handle CF, his value tanks.

He should be a perfectly fine player. Guys with speed like that will almost always get at least a couple thousand PA. But he could end up Alex Sanchez or Alex Cole or Tony Womack or Miguel Dilone. That's about what you get for a #20-50 prospect as is shown earlier in the thread.

Here's a good upside comp -- Bill North. 261/365/323, +34 in CF, 25 WAR. North was in an even tougher offensive environment but Hamilton would probably have more baserunning value. Quilvio Veras and John Cangelosi are the two other expansion era players with a BA of 270 or lower, an OBP of 350 or higher and an ISO of 100 or lower who stole a fair number of bases. Veras was about 3 wins above average in 5 full seasons.
   27. Dan Posted: February 20, 2013 at 07:48 AM (#4372413)
It seems really weird that Hamilton was kept at SS full time through last year when it's been a foregone conclusion all along that he'd end up in CF. why not start getting him outfield innings in high A or at least AA so that he could add polished OF defense to his résumé? Even speedy guys do better in the outfield with some experience to refine their routes and reads.
   28. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 20, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4372482)
Hamilton is listed at 6'1" 160. He's not going to develop power.

FWIW that's pretty much what Jose Reyes was listed at and he did develop some power.

Of course at 160 as a teenager Reyes showed more extra base pop than Hamilton has

   29. Adam G Posted: February 20, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4372510)
Any thoughts on Luis Castillo as a comp? He showed virtually no power, but controlled the strike zone, ran well (early on), and was quite valuable while healthy. I realize the position difference might make the comp a little less desirable, but from a skill set standpoint, he looks fairly similar. And Castillo is listed as 5'11" 145lbs (which is pretty hilarious from my memory of him in the latter half of his career).
   30. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 20, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4372515)
I've noted in previous threads that Vince Coleman with average defense in CF would be a pretty valuable player. If that's what Hamilton becomes, he'll have a far better career than most of the players on that 100 list.
   31. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 20, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4372519)
Castillo is a great comp. A consistent 2-3 win player for many years at a key defensive position. That's incredibly valuable.
   32. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 20, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4372526)
Castillo went .302/.403/.351 in the minors and walked more than he K'd

Hamilton has gone .289/.364/.389 and Ks nearly 2X what he walks.
   33. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 20, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4372531)
I guess I should have looked at Castillo's minor league numbers first. Still, I guess you could say that Castillo is a good comp for Hamilton's upside.
   34. Adam G Posted: February 20, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4372539)
Interesting thing about Castillo is how much we talk about power being so important... the ability to at least potentially hurt a pitcher if he just grooves pitches. Yet Castillo, with no power, was able to get on base at a really high clip. Why would pitchers not throw him strikes? And is his inflated OBP a result of the era he was in?

I know the numbers don't line up perfectly between the two players, but if Castillo could provide value without power, why not Hamilton?

Granted, Castillo might just be an oddball, but it at least shows that Hamilton has a second path to be useful other than developing power... if he controlled the strike zone better, he could take the Castillo career path.
   35. formerly dp Posted: February 20, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4372548)
Surprised not to see Wilmer Flores crack the top 100, given his age and his big 2012.
   36. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 20, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4372568)
Interesting thing about Castillo is how much we talk about power being so important... the ability to at least potentially hurt a pitcher if he just grooves pitches. Yet Castillo, with no power, was able to get on base at a really high clip. Why would pitchers not throw him strikes?


Castillo was really good at controlling the strike zone, not quite as good as Brett Butler, but real good, and being really fast helps, IFs tend to play in to prevent infield hits, making it easier for hard grounders to find hole and reach the OF- if a pitcher threw him strikes he could in fact get the bat on the ball, and I also recall that he'd foul off a lot of pitches too.

Surprised not to see Wilmer Flores crack the top 100, given his age and his big 2012.

He was 20th in the EL in OPS
of course everyone above him was older, the closet in age was Oswaldo Arcia, who was 21, and BA ranked him #41
Arcia also played half the year in the FSL, where he was 4th in OPS (Flores was 29th), Arcia also outhit Flores in 2011- the guy who led the 2012 FSL in OPS was just 20, Nick Castellanos, and BA ranked him #21.

OTOH considering the league level difference I think Flores was somewhat better at age 20 than Arcia was - but then again Arcia was not ranked in the top 100 after his age 20 season. FWIW Flores controls the strike zone better than Arcia...




   37. Ziggy Posted: February 20, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4372584)
What are your thoughts about Hamilton vs. Adam Eaton? He's another fast guy with no power, but Eaton's OBP is much much better than Hamilton's.
   38. PreservedFish Posted: February 20, 2013 at 12:07 PM (#4372585)
Castillo also really really wanted to walk. He wasn't one of these guys for whom the base on balls was a byproduct of a strong approach at the plate - the walk was often the specific goal of his approach. And he had the phenomenal contact ability. I was wondering about Castillo and guys like Polanco and Keppinger as comps for Hamilton, but I decided that they were just too different.
   39. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 20, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4372590)
What are your thoughts about Hamilton vs. Adam Eaton? He's another fast guy with no power, but Eaton's OBP is much much better than Hamilton's.
I was under the impression that Adam Eaton is not at all "another fast guy", but instead a tweener with no more than above-average speed who probably doesn't have the tools for center field. If Eaton could play CF, he'd look like a very nice little prospect. Billy Hamilton by contrast is the fastball baseball prospect of the last two decades. Maybe not much of a hitter, though.
   40. formerly dp Posted: February 20, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4372592)
He was 20th in the EL in OPS

Am I doing something wrong? I see him at 12th.

Arcia also played half the year in the FSL, where he was 4th in OPS (Flores was 29th), Arcia also outhit Flores in 2011- the guy who led the 2012 FSL in OPS was just 20, Nick Castellanos, and BA ranked him #21.
I wonder how much of this has to do with the uncertainty around Flores' eventual destination on the diamond. He's not going to play 3B for the Mets, this was his first year off of SS (played there exclusively until 2012), and while they'll probably keep trying him at 2B (almost 1/2 of his games after the promotion were played at 2B), he doesn't seem likely to stick there. Blocked at 1st too, provided Ike holds up. That leaves LF and RF, where his bat doesn't look nearly as good.

Edit: Did not realize Corey Vaughn out-OPSed Flores in the FSL-- a nice 20/20 season. Still not expecting much from him, but the power/speed and some walks make him interesting.
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 20, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4372599)
and while they'll probably keep trying him at 2B (almost 1/2 of his games after the promotion were played at 2B), he doesn't seem likely to stick there. Blocked at 1st too, provided Ike holds up. That leaves LF and RF, where his bat doesn't look nearly as good.

He better stick at 2B. He's been putting up 120ish wRC+'s in the minors (peaked at 136 in AA last year) with decent power, but not much BB. Hard to see that bat providing a lot of value in a corner.
   42. formerly dp Posted: February 20, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4372607)
He better stick at 2B.
I hope he does. But he'll only be 21 this year, and last season he finally started to develop his power a bit more. Too young to talk about as anything resembling a finished product.
   43. zonk Posted: February 20, 2013 at 12:42 PM (#4372615)
I'm very quickly moving from the "Gee, Sliding Billy Hamilton could be fun!" camp to the "Enough already... just hurry up and Scarborough Green your way into irrelevance and quick"

Don't get me wrong - not a shot at anyone in particular and I'm certainly as guilty of it as anyone - but it's become tedious where every prospect list discussion devolves into a fame, fortune, and future of Billy Hamilton coffee clatch.
   44. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4372637)
I was under the impression that Adam Eaton is not at all "another fast guy", but instead a tweener with no more than above-average speed who probably doesn't have the tools for center field.


A good Adam Eaton breakdown: Is Adam Eaton's Plate Discipline Really This Good?

When all was said and done, BIS data predicted a 9.1% BB rate, while PFX predicted a 7.8% rate. Eaton's actual BB rate was a much higher 13.6%. Using Statcorner's AAA plate discipline stats, Eaton had almost identical swing and contact rates in AAA last year, only posting a 9% BB rate. Before that, he did put up consistent double-digit walk rates, but we don't have any plate discipline stats to analyze.

With Eaton's speed and below-average, but not poor, power, I expect his Zone% to be more like the PFX data, above average. The projections at FanGraphs show the fans having a higher confidence he can continue to walk, one of the few times I'll actually defer to the systems.


I've not heard concerns about his defense in CF. Its not great, but it should be adequate. I thought the concern was that if he didn't walk in the big leagues, he doesn't provide any offensive value, and his glove doesn't make up for that. But if he can walk close to the rates he did in the minors, his glove should play well enough to make him quite valuable.
   45. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 20, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4372647)
Am I doing something wrong? I see him at 12th.


no, you are correct
   46. Walt Davis Posted: February 20, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4372921)
Interesting thing about Castillo is how much we talk about power being so important... the ability to at least potentially hurt a pitcher if he just grooves pitches. Yet Castillo, with no power, was able to get on base at a really high clip. Why would pitchers not throw him strikes? And is his inflated OBP a result of the era he was in?

I'll quote myself from earlier in the thread: I would say Al Leiter proves this "rule" doesn't hold.

Pitchers do not have an uncanny ability to throw it over the plate constantly. Leiter's BA was 085 with a 102 SLG and he K'd 290 times in his 565 non-SH PA. And he walked once every 16 PA for an "ISOobp" of about 60. No ML hitter has an excuse to walk less than Leiter yet Juan Pierre (just to pick one) does walk slightly less than Leiter.

Given his number of Ks, I assume Hamilton is closer to Leiter than Pierre in approach. :-) His Ks are one reason folks are a bit wary of Hamilton -- it's hardly an extreme K rate for 2013 but it's unusual for this type of hitter. Gary Pettis did K a good bit but also had one of the highest walk rates of this type of player. He seems a good offensive comp for Hamilton -- again, Hamilton likely to add more baserunning value -- and Pettis was not a bad offensive player despite his 236/332/310 line. Pettis had 12 oWAR in about 6.5 seasons of PA.

League average OBP and a ton of speed is enough to make you a roughly average ML offensive player. Hamilton should be able to do that. And, yes, he might walk enough to post an above-average OBP or he might develop some power (say 120 ISO).

But the key question is his defense. Presumably he won't be as good as Pettis but he probably won't be so bad as to need a move to LF (he might have the arm for RF I suppose as a former SS). A move to 2B (Womack, Castillo, Veras) isn't out of the question I suppose but seems unlikely given the problems at SS.

Another concern is that these guys don't tend to age well. Nixon was an exception but these guys generally don't get a lot of playing time after their early 30s. But that's so far away for Hamilton and of course most of the folks on a prospect list won't come close to spending their 32nd birthday in the majors.

I know it seems contradictory but I like a guy like Hamilton being fairly high on a prospect list. As I said, he's almost a lock for about 2000 PA in the majors. He's got a good chance at a nice "little" career of 4500 PA of average production and a decent chance at 20-25 WAR. He will be more valuable than probably 90 guys on that list.

To the extent there's an "issue" with his long-standing prospect status it's that these prospect lists tend not to rate guys with a good chance at a "nice little career" anywhere near this high. (Sickels is a major exception) Hamilton is being given extra buzz because folks like the idea of a tiny guy stealing 120 bases. I've got no problem with him being #20 this year (sounds about right) but a player with his future would not normally have been listed in the top 50 in his younger years (even though he probably should).

He just seems to have almost no chance at being a legit star yet already his fame has outpaced his value. Reactions like mine seem negative (and maybe are worded overly negatively) in reaction to that "fame." Nobody was excited about Quilvio Veras (very interesting minor league numbers) or Luis Castillo that I recall.
   47. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 21, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4373414)
Nobody was excited about Quilvio Veras (very interesting minor league numbers) or Luis Castillo that I recall.


I, being a Met fan, was overly excited about Veras.

I also recall that there were those who were excited about Castillo.

But any way, speaking of prospects who received far more hype than they should have-
Joey Gathright

Esix Snead

Years ago a couple of my friends happened to take in a Tides game- mostly so they could see this Jose Reyes character the Mets were gushing about- they came back raving abut someone else- Esix Effing Snead
look at his BBREF page, career .231/.324/.297- IN THE MINORS

stole 100 bases one year
made Reyes look slow (allegedly)

Never cracked BA's top 100, but he would get a mention as a prospect every now and then...
bleech




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