One Year Makes A Big Difference In Cincinnati Outfield

I was recently doing some research for an ESPN article using our depth charts, and a few observations came to mind:

1) No one has any idea what to make of Alexander Guerrero;
2) The Astros are actually getting some respect, and the Marlins aren’t; and
3) Wow, would you look at the non-Jay Bruce members of the Cincinnati outfield?

It’s that last part that interests me, because a year ago, the Reds had Ryan Ludwick coming off a very good year in left, Shin-Soo Choo arriving to add some offense in center, and the reliable Bruce in right. If there was a concern, it was how Choo would manage defensively in center, and while he was predictably poor out there, his offense was outstanding enough to make up for it. Despite the fact that Ludwick was injured on Opening Day and lousy when he returned, the Cincinnati outfield as a group was #5 overall in wRC+ and tied for #6 in WAR.

Now? Now, we have the Reds left field situation as being the worst in the bigs. We have the Reds center field collection as being the worst in the bigs. And despite the fact that Bruce is still regarded as a top-ten right fielder, that makes for a pretty terrifying outfield for a team that has won at least 90 games and made the playoffs in three of the last four years, and expects to do so again in 2014.

Some obvious caveats before we continue, of course. When I say “the worst,” it’s mostly for effect, because no one should be putting a lot of stock into the fact that the 1.2 WAR projected out of Cincinnati center fielders is worse than the 1.3 for Seattle or 1.4 for Miami. WAR is not so refined that tenths of a point carry a lot of weight — especially when we’re talking about projections, not events that actually happened — and no one should expect that it is. Even if it did, these projections are based on our depth chart experts, and while we have Billy Hamilton getting nearly 500 plate appearances in center, it’s hardly a guarantee that it actually happens.

But with that all out of the way, those projections pass the sniff test. So far this offseason, the Reds have swapped out former Dodger backup Xavier Paul for former Dodger backup Skip Schumaker, which doesn’t move the needle much, and they’ve gone from Choo to (presumably) Hamilton, which is arguably the biggest drop-off at a single position for any contender in baseball. (Due credit given to the downgrade from Robinson Cano to Brian Roberts and everyone else in New York, of course.) Depending on how optimistic you are or aren’t about Hamilton, that’s potentially a three-to-five win gap right there, enough to knock the Reds right out of October.

It’s exciting to think about Hamilton playing every day and for good reason, if only because that speed is unlike anything we’ve seen in years. If his legend hadn’t already preceded him when he arrived last September, it quickly became clear when he stole his first base off none other than Yadier Molina when everyone in the park knew it was coming. It also makes him somewhat difficult to project, just because there haven’t been many comparable players. The closest in recent years is probably Dee Gordon, another speedster who ultimately couldn’t stick at shortstop, and he flopped badly in Los Angeles.

What’s not arguable about Hamilton is that he had a .308 OBP in Triple-A last year, which matters, and a .284 OBP in 75 winter league plate appearances, which matters less, but isn’t exactly encouraging. If you look at his player page, you’ll see that Steamer and Oliver have big differences of opinion on how well his defense will play, which is understandable since he’s played all of 118 professional games in the outfield. But what they don’t have any difference of opinion on is his offense:

Steamer .249 .305 .338 .286 77
Oliver .250 .304 .335 .286 77

Is that enough if he steals around 70 bases, as each system thinks he will? Maybe so, but it’s worth noting that only five regular big leaguers had a worse wRC+ last year, and four were middle infielders. (The fifth was Ichiro Suzuki, well past his prime.) But what does seem certain is that Hamilton will cost around 100 points of OBP or more from Choo, and while we don’t know what new manager Bryan Price will do with his lineup, the idea of Hamilton and Zack Cozart (.284 OBP, tied for fourth-worst in baseball) batting 1-2 does seem like an especially fantastic way to neuter the run production capabilities of Bruce, Joey Votto, and Brandon Phillips.

While Hamilton is an intriguing young player on the way up, left fielder Ludwick is a formerly interesting player on the way down. His first season with the Reds in 2012 was a success (.373 wOBA, 26 homers), but after separating his shoulder on Opening Day in 2013, he had just a .277 wOBA in 140 plate appearances. It’s fair to not want to put a lot of stock into that line, since he’d missed so much time and was coming off such a serious injury. Then again, he’s turning 36 this July, offers negative value on defense, has been replacement-level or worse in two of the last three years, and has been considerably better than average with the bat once in the last five years.

That’s an extremely difficult player to believe in, and while his $8.5m contract means he’ll be given a chance to play, it’s hard to argue with projections that put him as barely above replacement. There’s an argument to be made that Chris Heisey, who has been worth about a win in each of the last four seasons thanks to a bit of pop and decently regarded defense, is a better player right now, though he’s ideally more of a fourth  outfielder.

Either way, the Reds as currently constituted are set up for 2014 with two enormous question marks in what was very recently one of the better outfields in the game.  None of this is to say that the Reds have “failed” this winter to date, because it’s not even January yet, and no one expected them to have the financial muscle to match what Texas gave Choo. There’s still six weeks to go before spring training starts, and then six weeks from there until the season starts. Walt Jocketty and friends have time to make a move, and they almost certainly will, because they must.

Now, what that move is remains to be seen. They were reportedly interested in acquiring Brett Gardner from the Yankees, and while the Brandon Phillips-for-Gardner rumor never really made sense, Gardner’s name could come up again. Or they could be an interesting, if rarely discussed, landing spot for Andre Ethier, should the Dodgers eat a considerable amount of money. (Ethier’s 2013 display of not being completely awful in center would at least hedge somewhat against Hamilton, with most of his time coming in left otherwise.) Or check in on San Diego’s outfield surplus and try to shake free a Will Venable or Chris Denorfia from a crowded depth chart, or perhaps the same with Oakland and Coco Crisp, or to snag a Gerardo Parra out of Arizona, or think smaller and look into a Justin Maxwell type.

No matter what, Jocketty needs to find some creativity. As it currently stands, the Reds outfield has fallen from a plus group to a potential anchor in the span of a year, causing a big enough gap that it might single-handedly keep the Reds out of the playoffs in what’s suddenly a very dangerous NL Central.

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Mike Petriello lives in New York and writes about the Dodgers daily at Dodgers Digest, as well as contributing to ESPN Insider. He wrote two chapters in the 2014 Hardball Times Annual as well as building The Hardball Times site, and is an editorial producer at Sports on Earth. Find him at @mike_petriello.

32 Responses to “One Year Makes A Big Difference In Cincinnati Outfield”

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  1. Steve says:

    If I were them I’d steal Parra. Towers is probably dumb enough to give him away for fresh poop.

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    • Bip says:

      He would have a lot of potential on another team. He’s exactly the type of player the D-Backs would love to disapprove of.

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  2. John says:

    They could trade for De Aza to play CF/LF. An outfield of DeAza, Hamilton, Bruce would at least be decent.

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    • QuintanaRoo says:

      I agree–De Aza to the Reds makes a lot of sense. Viciedo to the Reds might make sense too (I think his bat would play well there) but he is really more DH than OF.

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  3. Ron says:

    Seems like the Reds ought to be interested in Cruz then.

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  4. The Stranger says:

    What’s Hamilton’s trade value? As exciting as his speed is, it seems like his bat limits his ceiling to roughly league average, and he could easily flame out like Gordon. If there are any GMs buying into the hype, he might be at pretty much his peak value right now.

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    • Doug Gray says:

      With his speed and his defense, if he hits at all, he is an above-average player. Between his base running and defense, he is probably at least a 2-win player.

      The Reds aren’t trading him, rightly or wrongly, they have built him up as an attraction to put butts in seats.

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      • timb says:

        Doug’s last point is his best point. Further, most Cincinnati fans won’t realize Hamilton’s shortcomings.

        the people who shape public perception in that town worship the stolen base and two-out single and have little appreciation of the BB or OBP

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  5. filihok says:

    Dodges should trade, not Ethier, but Crawford to the Reds. Maybe even for a right-handed Ludwick.

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    • Mike Petriello says:

      That feels like a deal neither side would do.

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      • filihok says:


        If I were the Dodgers I’d either hold onto Crawford until Kemp proved he was healthy and productive or until I acquired a 4th OFer who could play CF (a need high on my list).

        If I’m the Reds I’d be looking to upgrade the OF and (though I’d prefer Ethier) if the price was right (in terms of Dodgers eating contract and not requiring much in return) Crawford would do just that.

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  6. Scrap Irony says:

    “…they’ve gone from Choo to (presumably) Hamilton, which is arguably the biggest drop-off at a single position for any contender in baseball… Depending on how optimistic you are or aren’t about Hamilton, that’s potentially a three-to-five win gap right there, enough to knock the Reds right out of October.”

    Choo’s defensive numbers graded out at -14.6 runs above average.

    Hamilton’s 2.89 AAA Range Factor isn’t just good, it’s better than every single AAA or major league starting CF last season by a fairly wide margin. (It’s also the highest Range Factor number among AAA CF starters for at least the past five years. I didn’t go back further than that.) His 8 AAA assists indicate that he has a very strong arm (and would have ranked tied for fifth in the majors). He also had 7 errors, which would have led the league’s CFers. However, even with the high error total, he looks like a top three CF defender. Conservatively, we’re talking the difference between a 15.6 Def and a -14.6. That’s three wins as a defensive baseline, according to Oliver.

    Choo’s baserunning score was -0.6.

    Hamilton will have a monster number here, obviously. If you assume
    – an 80% success rate (his minor and major league average is well over that) — Hamilton attempts to steal 90-110 bases on the year
    – Hamilton will continue to be as aggressive on the basepaths as he was in the minors and last season with Cincinnati

    Oliver’s 11.3 RAA BsR would mean Hamilton be pretty much Jacoby Ellsbury on the basepaths. Hamilton’s minor league numbers (and anecdotal and scouting reports) indicate a baserunner far more aggressive than that. So, too, do his limited major league numbers. Over his professional career, Hamilton has scored, on average, 48% (!) of the time he gets on base. 2013 Ellsbury averaged 38%. Add to that an extra 40 or so stolen bases, and Hamilton’s BsR number should be much, much higher. (Fwiw, Henderson scored 41% of the time he was on base in 1983.)

    In total, if you add Hamilton’s aggression on the basepaths to his 80%-ish success rate, you’re looking at a BsR over Henderson’s 14.0 1983 season. Which is, on the surface, quite ridiculous. But there it is.

    In other words, the baseline assumptions on Hamilton as a defender and baserunner are far more conservative than they should be. (Which makes sense, as he profiles to be the outlier in terms of BsR by a wide number and perhaps could be Carlos Gomez, part deux in terms of Def.)

    Over the course of an entire season, Hamilton’s superior speed and defensive tools, conservatively, then, would mean Hamilton begins with a five-win advantage (!) over Choo before even considering purely offensive numbers.

    This makes sense when compared to other high BsR and Def numbers like Elvis Andrus, Ellsbury, and others that dot today’s game. Hamilton’s 80 speed (and, I’d argue, 80 aggressiveness) would simply add a win more for his team than would Andrus or others over the course of a season.

    His bat, otoh, is a different animal.

    Overall last season, Hamilton’s offensive numbers– including both AAA and the majors– were .260/ .312/ .348/ .660. While poor, they correspond closely to past speedsters (age 23 and/or AAA numbers) like Vince Coleman, Willie Wilson, Otis Nixon, Maury Wills, and Delino DeShields. The first full season for each of Hamilton’s “contemporaries” (400 ABs or better) yield an average 96.2 OPS+. Hamilton’s overall minor league numbers are also far better than his AAA line– .280/ .350/ .378/ .728.

    There are obviously concerns about Hamilton’s bat; however, his baseline speed and defense WAA scores AND analysis concerning past speedsters’ impact offensively once they reach the majors indicate that your assumption about three-to-five win dropoff to be questionable at best. While Hamilton’s WAR may not reach Choo’s 5.2 monster season, he’d have to be almost historically bad offensively to be five wins worse overall than Choo in 2013.

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    • jibbers says:

      You keep saying conservative. There’s nothing conservative about your defensive and base running projections.

      +15.6 runs on defense would have made him the 2nd best defensive center fielder in the MLB this year. He’s played fewer than 120 professional games in the outfield. With his speed it’s obviously possible that he turns into an elite defensive CF, but right now it’s exceedingly optimistic to expect that to happen at all, much less in his first year, especially when the scouting reports haven’t exactly called him excellent. Minor league defensive numbers are extremely suspect to begin with, so I’m not trusting less than a season’s worth of minor league range factor stats to convince me of his fielding prowess. He’s a huge lottery ticket defensively. +15 runs is like a 95th percentile projection. It’s possible with his speed, but it’s basically a best case scenario.

      As for baserunning, we’re all excited to see what he can do in a full season, but don’t forget BSR is a counting stat. In 1983 Rickey Henderson had 622 PAs with a .414 (!!!!) OBP. So even if we’re expecting Gordon to be a better pure base runner than the the best base runner of all time in his best season (beyond ridiculous, because we’re supposed to be talking about MEAN projections) then a BSR number of +14 still seems so optimistic as to basically be outside the realm of possibility for a guy with a ~.300 OBP. That’s like a 99.99th percentile. In the history of baseball there have been 6 player seasons with a BSR of +14 runs or better. You’re calling that a CONSERVATIVE projection out of a rookie who just had a .308 OBP in AAA. I don’t even know why I’m still typing. This is dumb.

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      • Scrap Irony says:

        Not knowing that today’s BsR counts both stolen bases and the ability to run the bases correctly (ie, aggressively without getting caught) strikes me as dumb. Henderson’s “true” 1983 BsR would have likely been far, far higher. I’d guess he’d have topped 20 at least three times. As would have Tim Raines, Maury Wills, Lou Brock, and a host of other aggressively fast players. Pretty much the entire Dead Ball Era speedsters (Willie Keeler, Cobb, Wagner, the original Sliding Billy Hamilton) would have posted BsR well above that 14.0 score that is currently among the highest if there were data to mine. Since that data is unavailable, the BsR of any player beyond the past 20 years or so relies only on stolen bases/ success rate.

        Because of the preponderance of power offense in those newer generations of ballplayers, true 80+ stolen base threats/ aggressive baserunners hasn’t been seen since 1988. (After all, why try to steal/ take an extra base when someone else is more likely to drive you in?) Hamilton is the first 80 runner since… well, his speed is, I think you can agree, among the very fastest that have ever played the game. It’s certainly an outlier in the speed department.

        Therefore, I’m on safe mathematical ground assuming (as I posited in my original post) that Hamilton attempts at least 90 steals and remains as aggressive as he was in the minor leagues. Both of those assumptions are well within the realm of possibility. Given today’s dearth of runs and sagging power numbers, I’d argue it’s more than likely Hamilton remains aggressive.

        As to the defensive projections, minor league Range Factor is a fairly solid predictor of major league defensive success. Pretty much any CF with a 2.50 RngF is going to profile among the best at his position and a deserving Gold Glove candidate. The only players over the past 40 years to come close to Hamilton’s 2.89 minor league Range Factor number as a CF are Barry Bonds and Andruw Jones.

        Too, it’s not like Range factor has changed all that much in the past 40 years. (I didn’t go back further than that, as minor league numbers tend to’ve been lost, and that would corrupt the data set.) A 2.50 Range Factor is remarkably good. It’s always been remarkably good. Over the past 40 years, no major league CFer has had a minor league Range Factor higher than Hamilton’s. Again, only two are close, and those two are the Gold standard against which all others are judged.

        Again, Hamilton’s defense profiles to be an extreme outlier. I fully realize minor league numbers aren’t purely indicative. Especially defensive numbers. However, Hamilton’s Range Factor numbers are so far ahead of pretty much all others that, yes, his defensive projections are conservative as it relates to range and arm combination. Add to that his inexperience in the OF and the likelihood that his error rate will decrease, and his defensive RAA is absolutely conservative, as it relates to the purely mathematical projection system.

        You might argue that Hamilton’s numbers are too small to make a judgment. However, when compared against others with equally small numbers, he still grades out higher than, well, everyone. That’s why his projections are conservative.

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        • Bip says:

          You still seem to have trouble with the word “conservative.” Are your projected numbers attainable? Probably. Reasonable? Usually projecting a player to be among the best in the league when he has never done it before is not reasonable, but obviously Hamilton has some exceptional skills, so it’s not entirely unreasonable.

          But conservative? Considering how often prospects flame out entirely, and the instability of defensive ratings? There’s nothing conservative about your projections.

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    • jim says:

      “billy hamilton is, conservatively, mike trout at everything other than hitting”

      you may need to calm down

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  7. Ayn Rand Paul Simon says:

    Gotta agree with Scrap on this one. Hamilton’s defensive numbers from last year — whether we look at BPro’s metrics or those of Clay Davenport’s website — make him out to be the Andrelton Simmons of minor league centerfielders. Spectacular range + an okay throwing arm, plus all the baserunning value, and we’re talking a 3 WAR player even if the bat is far below average.

    I actually don’t think Hamilton is ever going to be a good hitter; but if he can manage a wRC+ in the 85-95 range he’ll be worthy CF for a contending team.

    (Aside: due to Choo’s departure & the general, well, unease surrounding Brandon Phillips, the Reds have become a rather trendy pick to disappoint in 2014. But as a Cardinal fan, I have to disagree. Cueto/Cingrani will be better than Arroyo was; the aforementioned Hamilton is, I think, somewhat underrated right now; the clubhouse could well be energized by the managerial change; and Jocketty, who usually has something shrewd up his sleave, has become baseball’s forgotten great GM thanks to Cincy’s dismal playoff performances.)

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  8. Scrap Irony says:

    If a prospect hit .430/.550/.700 in AAA, wouldn’t you consider an mlb projection of 300/ .350/ .550 to be conservative?

    For the third time, Hamilton has numbers no one in the past 25 years has. He has other numbers that no one in the past 40+ years has.

    1. Range Factor tends to be about the same from minor to major leagues.
    2. Range factor tends to equate to Gold Glove level defense.
    3. A Range factor of 2.5 in CF is exceptional.
    4. Billy Hamilton’s Range factor (2.89) in CF is the highest among all starting CFers in AAA or the major leagues in the past 40 years.
    5. Billy Hamilton’s stolen base numbers are the highest in the minors in more than 25 years. His closest contemporaries are all from at least 25 years in the past, not the present.
    6. Billy Hamilton’s aggressiveness on the basepaths is well-known throughout prospect and scouting circles. It is a weapon virtually no one else possesses or uses as effectively as he.
    7. Billy Hamilton’s speed scouting score is an 80, and he is considered among the fastest players to have ever played the game.
    8. All projection systems tend to regress to the mean, meaning those with true outlier abilities aren’t projected correctly and tend to be projected conservatively.

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    • psualum says:

      I think people are misinterpreting you.. they think you are saying that YOUR projections are conservative, but I’m reading it as you think Steamer/Oliver/the author’s projections are conservative.

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      • jibbers says:

        “Conservatively, we’re talking the difference between a 15.6 Def and a -14.6. ”

        “Over the course of an entire season, Hamilton’s superior speed and defensive tools, conservatively, then, would mean Hamilton begins with a five-win advantage (!) over Choo before even considering purely offensive numbers.”

        The sad thing is that he starts with a somewhat interesting point: that projection systems aren’t used to dealing with players with outlier skills like Hamilton’s speed. I don’t necessarily think that’s true, and he didn’t provide any evidence for why that means their projections break down, but at any rate it becomes irrelevant because of what he follows it up with. He commits all kinds of ridiculously optimistic logical jumps. Assuming that Hamilton will have a higher BSR than Ells did this year because, in the minors, he’s scored at a higher percentage than Ells did in the majors, while completely ignoring Hamilton’s dismal OBP. Trying to project his offense not by translating his ugly minor league stats but instead by looking at “contemporaries” from 40 years ago who turned into stars (ignoring of course, all of the players who busted) and averaging their first years’ OPS+. Calling him a top 3 major league CF based on 120 games of one minor league stat. It’s all the typical homer/optimistic-prospect-dreamer stuff.

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        • Scrap Irony says:

          “…he didn’t provide any evidence for why that means their projections break down”

          I didn’t think I’d have to, honestly. Look at the players with the best tools in baseball. Oliver projects Joey Votto to be worth 5.0 WAR, Miguel Cabrera at 6.3, and Mike Trout at 9.4. These are largely considered the three best hitters in the game today. Same thing with the best pitchers. None of their projections are anywhere near their production over the course of their past seasons because they are the outliers.

          Why is this?

          Because projection systems have always brought the outliers back to the pack. It’s the way the math works with projection systems.

          Hamilton’s speed and OF range (despite the small sample size) are outliers in the projection system.

          “He commits all kinds of ridiculously optimistic logical jumps. Assuming that Hamilton will have a higher BSR than Ells did this year because, in the minors, he’s scored at a higher percentage than Ells did in the majors, while completely ignoring Hamilton’s dismal OBP.”

          You didn’t read my post, or perhaps you didn’t understand. Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear. Let me explain: the assumption is that Hamilton will attempt to steal 90+ bases. That will boost his BsR in and of itself a great deal higher (depending on success rate) than Ellsbury’s, as the former Red Sox CFer only attempted 56 steals.

          Also, I cannot see how I discounted his “dismal numbers” if I used them in my analysis of his aggressiveness and scoring aggressiveness. I fully recognize (and mention) his possibly poor bat. However, his speed tool– an 80 speed tool– is underrated by projections because there aren’t any who can run as fast as Hamilton can. Not only that, scouting and anecdotal evidence (readily available even here on Fangraphs, if one would like to research) tell of his high baseball IQ and aggressiveness on the bases. A quick read of the Futures Game in which he deked the pitcher into committing an error or when he scored from second on a pop out to the second baseman.

          Too, if you’ll notice, I didn’t project his offense at all. I merely showed how his glove and speed will give him a five-win cushion over Choo before his offense is even mentioned/ analyzed. I did provide some contemporaries because those are the ones who had as poor an offensive age 23 AAA season and who attempted 90+ steals in a season.

          Were there others? Sure.

          But the original article mentioned Dee Gordon. Gordon is a poor comp for Hamilton, as he does not use his speed as a weapon like Hamilton has, either in the minors or in limited time in the major leagues. Each of my comps are much closer to Hamilton’s game despite the generational gap.

          If you’d care to find some more contemporary “busts” with similar stolen base totals and offensive seasons, show me. I’d love to see them.

          I went back to 1980 looking for guys who attempted 90+ steals in the minors with no luck. A couple older minor leaguers stole (Alan Hayden and Keith Thrower) about the right number of bases, but both were 2+ years behind Hamilton, so were dismissed as poor comps. Vince Coleman and Lenny Dykstra stole 100+ in the same minor league season (1983). Donnell Nixon broke his knee after a few monster minor league seasons and was never the same after the two-year layoff. After that, you go all the way back to Brett Butler and Tim Raines in 1980. There just aren’t that many guys who’ve done what Hamilton has done over the past 40 years. That’s the entire list, in fact. That’s four All-Stars, one injury could-have-been, and two poor comps.

          Finally, as to the small sample size, Hamilton’s AAA games played are similar to every other player over the course of a AAA season. Is it small? Of course. So what? In his 2013 season, Hamilton got to more balls than any CF over the past 40 years. Is that a fluke? Perhaps. But it’s certainly an outlier number and one the projection systems do a poor job of accounting for.

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    • Mama Hamilton says:

      Billy, is that you? Go to bed, it’s past your bedtime.

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    • Bip says:

      If a prospect hit .430/.550/.700 in AAA, wouldn’t you consider an mlb projection of 300/ .350/ .550 to be conservative?

      Not even remotely. It’s very common for prospects to look like total studs in the minors, and come up to the majors and never cut it. There are so many reasons this can happen that there’s almost no point trying to explain it.

      A “conservative” projection is one a player is much more likely to match or exceed than he is to miss. What minor league player has ever entered the majors expected to match or exceed .300/.350/.550? Only five established major leaguers slugged .550 last year.

      8. All projection systems tend to regress to the mean, meaning those with true outlier abilities aren’t projected correctly and tend to be projected conservatively.

      If you don’t understand why they do this, and you apparently don’t, I think you should learn before making any more projections. Having an outlier skill does not make a player “regression-proof”. And what do you mean by saying his skills “aren’t projected correctly”. What is a “correct” projection? How is a “conservative” projection an “incorrect” projection? Again, it seems you are missing some fundamental knowledge required to properly make and discuss projections.

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  9. Vince says:

    Say it slowly so it sinks in…






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  10. cowboytrout says:

    Can someone give me a link to where I can find Range Factor for both major and minor leagues? And what is BSR? Thanks

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  11. BigBubbaNoTrubba says:

    Scrap Irony is right.

    Some of you guys arguing him are just mincing words so as not to lose face.

    Just admit that he’s right and you were wrong.

    We still like you.

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    • timb says:

      Hamilton will never hit. OBP is not a skill a budding MLBer learns at the ML’s. He’s destined to be Mike Cameron without the power

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  12. Haastile says:

    Scrap Irony has a convincing argument. Almost all scouts say Billy Hamilton is one of the fastest players to EVER play baseball. Scrap’s point was it’s hard to predict such an uncommon skill set with regression-based models. I’m not sure why some posters seem to take offense to this but his point is well defended.

    I personally think Hamilton will be one of the best defensive center-fielders in baseball. I also think Choo was the worst in 2013 making the suggested 5 win drop off nearly impossible.

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