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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Royals DFA Billy Hamilton

The Kansas City Royals have designated Billy Hamilton for assignment.

You’re heard the phrase “that’s what speed do?” Well, Hamilton is a living example of what having only speed do: makes it really hard for you to stick on a big league roster.

So, where does he run off to now?

 

QLE Posted: August 18, 2019 at 03:51 AM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: billy hamilton, designated for assignment, speed

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   1. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 18, 2019 at 09:35 AM (#5872284)
You’re heard the phrase “that’s what speed do?” Well, Hamilton is a living example of what having only speed do: makes it really hard for you to stick on a big league roster.
Hamilton is also a plus defender. (Some of this is a function of speed, but not all of it.) More than that, he's over 3000 career PA and has something like 5.5 years of service time. He's obviously not going to play for 20 years or anything like that, but he's had a longer career than the vast majority of ballplayers, despite being entirely unable to hit.


   2. Captain Supporter Posted: August 18, 2019 at 10:04 AM (#5872290)
Hamilton is a living example of what having only speed do: makes it really hard for you to stick on a big league roster.


This is a good example of a journalist trying to be clever by twisting facts to make his story line work, and therefore getting it wrong again. Speed was in fact the whole reason Hamilton was able to stick on a big league roster. And it is quite likely a playoff team will pick him up to be their Dave Roberts.

An interesting fact about Hamilton is that he actually came in second in the Rookie of the Year voting in 2014 despite having a .648 OPS and being caught stealing 23 times to lead the league in that category. If nothing else, speed clearly impresses baseball writers.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 18, 2019 at 10:34 AM (#5872296)
But...but...Speed Puts Pressure on the Defense™!
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 18, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5872301)
The things that doomed him are the 20% K-rate, 13% IF %, and the .300 BABIP (career).

For a player of this type to succeed he has to put the ball in play all the time, on the ground, and reach at a high rate. His hitting approach negated a lot of his speed value. Insert Willie Mays Hayes joke here.

   5. Davo Posted: August 18, 2019 at 11:45 AM (#5872312)
This was the dumbest signing of the winter, and has ended predictably.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: August 18, 2019 at 12:01 PM (#5872314)
I don't see why it was the dumbest signing of the winter. Somebody needs to play the games.
   7. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 18, 2019 at 12:37 PM (#5872321)
He's a .280 hitter lifetime against the Pirates. I could see them trying to pick him up, but someone else will probably sign him to a minor league deal with a September callup while the Pirates are running the idea past five layers of the organization.
   8. Davo Posted: August 18, 2019 at 12:50 PM (#5872325)
They made Brett Phillips waste a whole year in AAA when he should have been their opening day center fielder.

You’re gonna stink no matter what, stink while letting your MLB-ready center field prospect take his licks in the Majors.

(They did call him up to take Hamilton’s spot on the roster, but like....4.5 months too late, guys!)
   9. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 18, 2019 at 01:08 PM (#5872328)
Phillips hit 187/252/306 last year, and this year has struck out in almost a third of his PA and is only hitting .240. It made perfect sense to start him in the minors and keep him there a while, and to run a (speedy!) warm body out there for much of the year.
   10. BrianBrianson Posted: August 18, 2019 at 01:45 PM (#5872334)
He's 28, and averaged a little over 1 WAR/year. He's a worthwhile pickup, and a quality 4th outfielder, who might get lucky and put together a career year or two.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: August 18, 2019 at 04:04 PM (#5872373)
He's 28, and averaged a little over 1 WAR/year. He's a worthwhile pickup, and a quality 4th outfielder, who might get lucky and put together a career year or two.


The first sentence is true.. the first half of the second sentence is a valid opinion, the part starting with 'who might get lucky...." is just utterly ridiculous... grab him.. sure, but he's not going to have a career year going forward... his skill set is toast, he's more or less just a defense plus backup centerfielder who can be used in a pinch running scenario.
   12. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: August 18, 2019 at 04:08 PM (#5872377)
Hamilton has averaged about -30 Rbat over a whole season. Let's be generous and give him a +10 on defense, so that means he needs a +20 on the basepaths....something only three players in history have ever done (Maury Wills, 1962; Willie Wilson, 1980; Vince Coleman, 1986).

Reading a book about the 70s A's made me wonder: just how good did Herb Washington have to be to justify holding an MLB roster spot, let alone one with a pennant winner? (I mean, would he have to steal every single time he was put into a game?)
   13. Davo Posted: August 18, 2019 at 04:49 PM (#5872386)
12- Important to keep in mind that starters pitched WAY more innings back then, so teams needed fewer relievers, which means roster spots were less constrained than they are now (when you have 16 position players on a 25-man roster, it’s easier to justify one of them being a designated runner...doing it today, with only 12 position players, would be insane.)
   14. Walt Davis Posted: August 18, 2019 at 06:04 PM (#5872398)
The Cubs might pick him up. Almora is down so CF is currently Heyward and Happ. With Russell back up, Hamilton could even step straight into Tony Kemp's roster spot (esp if Kemp has options left).
   15. Red Voodooin Posted: August 18, 2019 at 07:09 PM (#5872410)
Why would they want to do that? Isn't Kemp a much better baseball player?
   16. Red Voodooin Posted: August 18, 2019 at 07:57 PM (#5872412)
I hate the designated runner. Last year the Cubs season ended with the pathetic Terrence Gore at the dish. It was gross. Hard pass on Hamilton.
   17. escabeche Posted: August 18, 2019 at 09:26 PM (#5872430)
The Orioles outfield defense is awful (OK, judging by today, our infield defense ain't too hot either) and Billy Hamilton wouldn't be the worst hitter on the team. OK, he'd be the second-worst. But Baltimore's the team where his plus defense in CF would help the most, since he'd take some balls away from Mancini and Santander. And I just like watching the guy play.
   18. JAHV Posted: August 18, 2019 at 10:08 PM (#5872438)
This was the dumbest signing of the winter, and has ended predictably.


The Angels paying $11 million for Matt Harvey to be terrible for them and help the A's down the stretch begs to differ.

I don't see why Hamilton can't be a cromulent backup outfielder for someone. Despite the Mathis-esque batting line, he's still put up half a win of value with his defense and baserunning.
   19. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 18, 2019 at 10:21 PM (#5872440)
The designated runner is useful (check out the Dodgers’ manager’s postseason record for details) but if you are carrying 12 pitchers and using 4-5 a game at a minimum you are asking for situations like ending your season with Terrence Gore at the plate or a World Series game seven with Michael Martinez up there.
   20. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 18, 2019 at 10:49 PM (#5872446)
like ending your season with Terrence Gore at the plate or a World Series game seven with Michael Martinez up there.


Or you can just be super clever like the Red Sox and let your relief pitcher bat in the 9th inning of game 3 of the world series....
   21. Walt Davis Posted: August 19, 2019 at 01:32 AM (#5872460)
Why would they want to do that? Isn't Kemp a much better baseball player?

Not in any noticeable way. He's replacement level (give or take) in a season's worth of PAs, is probably at best an average CF, isn't a particularly good or prolific base-stealer ... does play a bit of 2B but Hamilton was an IF in the minors too but Kemp probably a bit better there. But with Russell, Bote and Happ all around there's little reason for Kemp to see any time at 2B from here on out. Hamilton is a much better fit as defensive replacement and pinch-runner and you don't really want either of them to PH if you can avoid it (but you'd prefer Kemp). Given the Cubs will be starting below-average defensive OFs for probably every game from here on out, they could really use a true CF to bring in late.

On Hamilton second in RoY voting -- that's hardly surprising or embarrassing. He and deGrom were the only rookies that were anything close to full-time for their teams and that's enough to get you votes. Hamilton hit as well as 3rd place finisher Wong and arguably 5th place finisher Inciarte (who did have the higher OBP). And it's not a "here's the best player of the future award." That Hamilton got 4 1st place votes is a bit embarrassing. You want a list of lousy options, look at the 2013 AL RoY. 2011 2nd place Mark Trumbo also says hi.

On designated runners, etc. ... the Cubs carried Jonathan Herrera all year in 2015; they carried Matt Szczur for almost all of 2016 and 3 Cs for a good chunk of the year; we carried Tommy LaStella for two seasons and totalling 340 PA. This year it's Descalso who has been both useless and receiving way too much PT. The Cubs have had little concern about carrying a pretty lame 25th man.

And it's true that Gore led off the fateful 13th inning in last year's WC game ... after he pinch-ran, stole a base and scored the tying run in the 8th ... I don't recall the hit so maybe Rizzo would have scored from first on Javy's double but he's not the swiftest of runners. After that it was on Joe. Instead of putting Strop in Gore's spot and Schwarber in LF he decided to put Strop in the #8 spot where he would bat 3rd the next inning (when he was PH for by Schwarber). Joe also still had Caratini left (he PH later for the pitcher's spot). We got 2 Gore PA, 1 Scwarber, 1 Caratini and possibly could have had 2 Schwarber, 1 Caratini and 1 Hamels. I don't recall if Gore made any nice defensive plays (box score lists a deep LF line flyball with two outs which sounds like a reasonably tough play in Wrigley). Anyway, scoring 1 run in 13 innings hardly sounds like the fault of Gore, especially since he scored that one run.
   22. Davo Posted: August 19, 2019 at 08:36 AM (#5872475)
Since no one watches the Royals (for good reason!), it may surprise some to learn that Terrance Gore got 58 PAs this year and lucked his way into a .275/.362/.353 line! (His AAA line is funnier: .207/.410/.241.)
   23. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 19, 2019 at 07:47 PM (#5872729)
Hamilton was claimed by the Braves, presumably as insurance in case they DFA Ronald Acuna for disciplinary reasons.
   24. Howie Menckel Posted: August 19, 2019 at 09:32 PM (#5872744)
or possibly because it looks like their CF Inciarte is out for the season

(not that Hamilton gets the gig; they just need help there. Acuna shifted over to CF with Inciarte injured but moved back to a corner when Inciarte briefly returned and then got hurt again. they didn't have a credible alternative now if Acuna needed a rest)
   25. CFBF's Overflowing Pathos Posted: August 19, 2019 at 09:41 PM (#5872746)
The Braves are basically down to a fifth-string outfield at this point, and that's with Acuna playing out of position in CF. A warm body that can play a competent CF is pretty much a necessity.
   26. bunyon Posted: August 20, 2019 at 09:09 AM (#5872803)
I'm going to laugh when Hamilton drives in the winning run in the NLCS against the Cubs.
   27. JJ1986 Posted: August 20, 2019 at 09:12 AM (#5872806)
The Braves had Rafael Ortega on roster, and I'm pretty sure if you made a team of actual freely-available replacement players he'd be on there.
   28. Spahn Insane Posted: August 20, 2019 at 09:24 AM (#5872811)
I'm going to laugh when Hamilton drives in the winning run in the NLCS against the Cubs.

The chances of the Cubs and Braves meeting in the LCS are pretty slim.
   29. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 20, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5872814)
The Braves say Hamilton won't get at-bats, he will only bea pinch-runner.

The Braves saved the Royals $1.9M, so David Glass thanks you!
   30. DCA Posted: August 20, 2019 at 09:29 AM (#5872815)
You know, Hamilton is exactly the kind of designated runner that playoff teams should be looking to add. He's Dave Roberts, not Terrance Gore. He can hit a little (better than a pitcher) and he can play a plus CF. He still has some value if he has to stay in the game after pinch running.

And with his legs and glove, that 622 OPS is almost league average and has never been below replacement level (career 8.5 WAR / -1.1 WAA) which is decent bench piece for a contender level.

   31. RoyalFlush Posted: August 20, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5872856)
What made the signing seem dumb to me was the $5.25M price tag. Who were they bidding against? It's not my money, so I don't really care. But for a team with limited resources, it seems like driving a harder bargain in certain situations should be a higher priority.

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