Billy Hamilton is now a freelancer: before Friday's deadline, Reds failed to bid for his fast CF contract and granted…
Billy Hamilton is now a freelancer: before Friday’s deadline, Reds failed to bid for his fast CF contract and granted him a free agency. It was hardly a stupid move on Reds – despite Hamilton’s amazing blow and defense, Hamilton was consistently graded as one of the worst hitters in the big leagues and Hamilton was projected to earn $ 5.9 million through arbitration – a little expensive for a player who can not beat. Hamilton has some obvious and obvious flaws, but could he and Mets be a match?
With Jay Bruce reported included in the current Cano / Diaz blockbuster, Mets utfield begins to look a little bit – when Bruce leaves, Mets will only have three healthy true outfielders on their 40- manly roster- Michael Conforto Brandon Nimmo and Juan Lagares . Yoenis Cespedes is out until it looks like the second half of next season (exclusively) and Dominic Smith is a challenger only in name until he proves otherwise remind the fact that Smith has hit only .210 / .259 / .406 in his career) – so that the depths of Mets in the field are threadable. Given Lagers health history, it would surely behave Mets to get a fourth outfield type.
That’s where Hamilton comes in, there’s probably no better fourth outfield-type on the market. Hamilton is a strong defensive alternative: by Outs Over the average, Hamilton has consistently been rated as one of the best outfields in the game and ended in the top ten each season since the measurement was introduced in 2016. In the case of a late-in defensive substitute, Hamilton represents an excellent alternative. And bearing in mind Lagare’s injury history, roasting Hamilton would give Mets true centerfield so that they would have a key option in the event of damage to Lagares (as opposed to the 2018 plan, which was simply moving Nimmo to the center). While Hamilton is not a great starting option, he could still do it in a pinch without harming the team so badly.
Hamilton also represents a strong nip-driving option outside the bench. Since 2014, only 2 players have stolen 200+ bases- Dee Gordon (242 SB) and Hamilton (264). At Statcast’s sprint speed measurements, Hamilton was the 5th fastest base winner last season – for a relatively slow team whose only realistic stolen bashot is Amed Rosario gives Hamilton Mets a clear threat to baspaths. It’s not unreasonable to believe that Mets can use Hamilton as a runner in the eighth, then hold him in the ninth match to keep the glove in the outskirts.
The prisoner (and the reason that Hamilton was non-dettered in the first place) is that Hamilton is an extremely bad hitter. Hamilton was the 3rd worst qualified hit in May’s last season of WRC +, slashing a meager .236 / .299 / .327. Hamilton recorded the lowest average exit speed in 2018 among qualified hitters Hamilton can not beat the ball with any authority, and while his speed can help him knock out softly smashed groundballs (per FanGraphs, Hamilton has a .283 BABIP on groundballs compared to a .238 league since Hamilton’s debut), these types of hits will only be singles and his production is significantly lower than the average of airplanes and line stations. But in a bench role, Hamilton’s shortcomings on the plate can dodged with early substitutions.
The Metsna stares for outfielders with Cespedes out and Bruce apparently on their way to Seattle. Since their best CF options look like Juan “Man of Glass” Lagers, who make a move to get Hamilton as a bench, would be inexpensive, inexpensive and proficient, reinforce their field and improve their ability to move base races into high leverage situations. Although Mets decides to upgrade his outfield with a faster option that guarantees start time, Hamilton may still be meaningful as a bench flicker and pinch runners.