- FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball - http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy -

Billy Hamilton’s Realm of 2014 Possibilities

The Reds are a playoff team with a pretty good outfield, but one man is lurking in the background, preparing to steal all your bags, and possibly your heart. The Reds have some decisions to make this offseason, and one question facing them is “what the heck do we do with Billy Hamilton?” In celebration of Hamilton’s spectacular and otherworldly speed, the present offer sought to present some possible outcomes to the most handsome reader.

What you will find below is a possible fantasy line for Hamilton, listed in the following format: AB/HR/R/RBI/SB/AVG. After each line is presented for your viewing pleasure, two numbers follow. The first is the value of that fantasy line in standard mixed leagues, and the second is the value of such a line in NL-only leagues, both of which are calculated by the intrepid author’s own special spreadsheet derived from 2013 Steamer player environment. While fantasy drafts deal in whole dollars, cents are presented to show the differences before rounding.

So, let’s say that the Reds find a spot for Hamilton to play every day, and that the speedster performs pretty darn well with the exception of his batting average. Hamilton hit .256 in AAA this year, and his strikeout rate isn’t ideal for a player without power, so how about a .240 batting average?

M: $22.52; N: $27.23

M: $22.92; N: $27.50

M: $23.30; N: $27.78

Not bad, right? Even with a low batting average, Hamilton’s steals and runs make him a third round choice in mixed leagues and a second round pick in NL-only leagues.

Now, let’s imagine that Hamilton only starts part of the time, while maintaining most of the same rates as above.

M: -$0.54; N: $11.15

M: $7.61; N: $16.90

The lack of runs scored really hurts Hamilton here, where even 60 steals makes him waiver wire fodder in mixed leagues. But what if he hits for a better average in that reduced playing time, and thus scores a few more runs, too?

M: $1.52; N: $12.61

M: $8.76; N: $17.73

M: $2.68; N: $13.43

M: $9.92; N: $18.56

Now we see that Hamilton is a solid late round get in mixed leagues at the worst, which is to be expected.

We’ve gone through some situations in which Billy gets a good deal of ABs, but here’s a look at what happens to Hamilton’s value if the Reds choose to use him primarily as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement — a scenario not out of the question if the team brings back Shin-Soo Choo.

M: -$6.64; N: $6.93

M: $2.42; N: $13.31

In mixed leagues, Hamilton will be forever tempting but untouchable with fifty steals, but he’ll still be worth a 15th round selection in NL-only formats. It’s rare, yes, but even with 150 ABs he provides enough value. If Hamilton can snag 70 bags in limited time, his value increases dramatically, but he should still stay on the market until the last three rounds of mixed drafts.

Through Hamilton’s first 10 games, he has received 16 plate appearances (14 ABs), and he’s stolen 12 bags. His batting average is a stellar .429, so I’m presenting a scenario is which his average stays the same, and one in which it falls back down to earth but is still quite good.

M: $83.7; N: $70.63

M: $70.25; N: $60.96

Obviously, these lines aren’t going to happen, but there’s no reason we can’t all have a chuckle while looking at them.

Lastly, I put out a call for fantasy stat lines from RotoGraphs writers, and a couple were bold enough to stick their neck out and provide me with some added content. I won’t use their names since it’s not fair for anyone to get stuck with a cruddy projection way before the 2013-2014 offseason even begins, but I will label mine and prepare for public ridicule.

M: $35.77; N: $36.54

M: $0.95; N: $12.07

400/0/70/25/85/.230 (Zach’s entirely inaccurate projection)
M: $12.6; N: $20.29

One author believes that Hamilton is a top-5 selection in both mixed and NL-only leagues, while one fears the Dee Gordon treatment. I, on the other hand, see Hamilton as a round 9-12 guy in mixed leagues, but a third or fourth round talent in NL-only formats.

What are your projections for Billy Hamilton’s 2014 campaign? Post your thoughts in the comments and I’ll run the numbers through the calculator. Be sure to include all six necessary stats if you’d like your values calculated.