Has Billy Hamilton batted (unbatted) his way out of the majors?

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    Has Billy Hamilton batted (unbatted) his way out of the majors?

    Great glove, solid arm, super speed and baserunning threat that could not, or perhaps refused to learn to bunt. Preferred swinging for the fences and reminded me of "Say Hey, Willie Hayes" from the movie who either struck out or popped up. Hamilton was designated for assignment yesterday by the Kansas City Royals. I understand he will be sent to the minors, released, or traded once he clears waivers. Appears the Reds to allow his release to free agency wasn't so dumb. Maybe the Royals signing him for $5.2million was a little questionable. Loved watching him in the field and on the bases; but, sure grumbled after he batted.
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    cincydragons's Avatar
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    Wow just looked at his hitting stats this year and they're really bad even by Billy Hamilton standards. Would still think a playoff contender might pick him up just to pinch run and play defense in late-game situations. He was really fun to watch when he got on base.

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    Picked up by the Braves I believe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cincydragons View Post
    Wow just looked at his hitting stats this year and they're really bad even by Billy Hamilton standards. Would still think a playoff contender might pick him up just to pinch run and play defense in late-game situations. He was really fun to watch when he got on base.
    Cincydragons, you're spot-on. Tom Brennamen just said Braves picked him up for stretch run...for his gove and as a pinch runner. Sure recall some exciting plays he made as a Red. Good luck to him; just wish his hard head could allow him to 100% change his offensive approach.

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    I think the Braves need to use him now more than just a pinch runner and a glove man. They have 3 outfielders on the injured list----Markakis, Inciarte and Austin Riley. I think he'll play more right away than many people thought....unless his bat just really tanks.

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    John Anthony's Avatar
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    Braves are on the hook for 4.25 mill this year and 1 mill next year, for a pinch runner for a few months. The Royals prayers were answered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldercoach View Post
    Great glove, solid arm, super speed and baserunning threat that could not, or perhaps refused to learn to bunt. Preferred swinging for the fences and reminded me of "Say Hey, Willie Hayes" from the movie who either struck out or popped up. Hamilton was designated for assignment yesterday by the Kansas City Royals. I understand he will be sent to the minors, released, or traded once he clears waivers. Appears the Reds to allow his release to free agency wasn't so dumb. Maybe the Royals signing him for $5.2million was a little questionable. Loved watching him in the field and on the bases; but, sure grumbled after he batted.
    The most common argument heard about Hamilton is his refusal to bunt. Yet this year he is 3rd in the league in bunts in play. And even if he put 20 more bunts in play and was successful in half of them (which he likely wouldn't be, as the league average on bunts is around .400), he'd still only be hitting .222. Being even a great bunter, won't make you even a good hitter, regardless of how fast you are. And the bunts that typically work the best are the surprise bunt. If Hamilton just bunted more, more and more teams would play to take that away, making it even harder to be successful. So while bunting could help him a little, it's not going to be enough to make him a legit MLB hitter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjs4470 View Post
    The most common argument heard about Hamilton is his refusal to bunt. Yet this year he is 3rd in the league in bunts in play. And even if he put 20 more bunts in play and was successful in half of them (which he likely wouldn't be, as the league average on bunts is around .400), he'd still only be hitting .222. Being even a great bunter, won't make you even a good hitter, regardless of how fast you are. And the bunts that typically work the best are the surprise bunt. If Hamilton just bunted more, more and more teams would play to take that away, making it even harder to be successful. So while bunting could help him a little, it's not going to be enough to make him a legit MLB hitter.
    But, don't overlook that a defense playing for the bunt opens many opportunities for ground balls to find holes. Just saying his approach needed a complete rebuild and he was reluctant to do it. Maybe his pickup by the Braves will be an awakening moment. Perhaps winter ball would be the logical time and place for the rebuild.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldercoach View Post
    But, don't overlook that a defense playing for the bunt opens many opportunities for ground balls to find holes. Just saying his approach needed a complete rebuild and he was reluctant to do it. Maybe his pickup by the Braves will be an awakening moment. Perhaps winter ball would be the logical time and place for the rebuild.
    It can. But he’s already bunting more than almost every player in the league. Think about it....will bunting more really result in more swinging hits, even though he would now be swinging less BECAUSE he is bunting more? And his bunting becomes less effective because teams are playing him to bunt.

    Its just not nearly as simple as saying “he needs to bunt more”. The only way for him to become a better hitter is to become a better hitter. Bunting more wont fix it. Despite what everyone likes to believe, he already is bunting more than all but two players in the league.

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    DragonFire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Anthony View Post
    Braves are on the hook for 4.25 mill this year and 1 mill next year, for a pinch runner for a few months. The Royals prayers were answered.
    The 4.5 million is prorated to this point in the year. They’re gonna pay him about $900K this season. Sometimes you do what you have to when you get hit by the injury bug.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonFire View Post
    The 4.5 million is prorated to this point in the year. They’re gonna pay him about $900K this season. Sometimes you do what you have to when you get hit by the injury bug.
    Good catch, I forgot to type remainder before the 4.5M. Plus the 1M next year, the Braves have 1.9M sitting around. I hope Billy has invested/saved most of that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjs4470 View Post
    It can. But he’s already bunting more than almost every player in the league. Think about it....will bunting more really result in more swinging hits, even though he would now be swinging less BECAUSE he is bunting more? And his bunting becomes less effective because teams are playing him to bunt.

    Its just not nearly as simple as saying “he needs to bunt more”. The only way for him to become a better hitter is to become a better hitter. Bunting more wont fix it. Despite what everyone likes to believe, he already is bunting more than all but two players in the league.
    I agree, I think the biggest knock on Billy was always a bunt or he was swinging to hit one 400 ft, what he really needs to do is work on changing his uppercut swing and work on hitting the ball on the ground more.

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    Jumper_Dad's Avatar
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    Billy needs to get Rod Carew to teach him how to slap the ball around. Carew had no power and hit .328 from 1969 to 1983 and only dropped below .318 twice (.305 and .307), he could teach Billy a thing or two about hitting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumper_Dad View Post
    Billy needs to get Rod Carew to teach him how to slap the ball around. Carew had no power and hit .328 from 1969 to 1983 and only dropped below .318 twice (.305 and .307), he could teach Billy a thing or two about hitting.
    I’ve always wondered how those types of guys would do in this era of power pitching. I know Ichiro enjoyed a lot of success slapping the ball around, but otherwise those guys have been few and far between.

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    Jumper_Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjs4470 View Post
    I’ve always wondered how those types of guys would do in this era of power pitching. I know Ichiro enjoyed a lot of success slapping the ball around, but otherwise those guys have been few and far between.
    These guys threw pretty hard, here are his numbers against them...

    Jim Palmer (118 PAs): .352/.402/.429, 10 walks, five strikeouts, zero home runs.

    Luis Tiant (113 PAs): .359/.411/.553, nine walks, eight strikeouts, three home runs.

    Nolan Ryan (109 PAs): .301/.398/.441, 15 walks, 29 strikeouts, two home runs.

    Ichiro's best season OPS was 130, Carew's career OPS was 131.

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