Monday, January 27, 2014

A look at 2014 projections for Billy Hamilton


When talking about statistical projections, there is arguably no player on the Reds roster more intriguing than Billy Hamilton.

Whether he is ready or not, the 23-year-old is about to take on huge responsibilities in his first full season in the majors. The Mississippi native will be tasked to fill the shoes of Shin-Soo Choo in center field and at leadoff. It goes without saying, but doing so won't be easy.

So, the question remains: What kind of season can we expect from Hamilton? Can we expect him to post numbers similar to his career slash line in the minors (.280/.350/.378)? Or should we lower our expectations and expect a season closer to the one he recorded in Triple-A in 2013 (.256/.308/.343)?

Thankfully, there are others who are trying to take the guess work out of predicting Hamilton's campaign, by using complex formulas and history to project what Hamilton may do in 2014. With that being said, here is a current look at the end result of three of those projections:

Roto Champ:


Steamer:


ZiPS:


For a quick look at how each projection is determined, please visit this link for Steamer, this link for ZiPS, and this link for Roto Champ. Remember, each is just an educated projection.

Okay, so there we have it. As you can see, all three projections don't exactly predict the kind of success that we would hope for out of young Billy this season. The best-case scenario seems to come from Dan Szymborski's ZiPS model, which estimates that Hamilton will post a .264/.319/.362 line, with 68 stolen bases, 20 doubles, and 73 runs scored. While nobody expects Hamilton to replicate the production Choo enjoyed in 2013, these numbers are a long way off from the .285/.423/.462 line Choo tallied.

However, projections have been and will be wrong, again. No amount of mathematical algorithms or formulas can precisely predict what often cannot be accurately predicted. But with that said, most of these player projections have proven to be good indications at what one might expect out of a player. Let's just hope that they are wrong in Hamilton's case.

I don't have a complicated projection model at my disposal. But I would like to venture a guess as to how Hamilton will perform in 2014. Again, I don't think he comes anywhere close to what Choo did last year, and it would be foolish to think otherwise, but I do firmly believe he is capable of exceeding these projection expectations laid out for him above. Of course, there is always a chance that Hamilton completely struggles adapting to big league pitching, too. We just won't know, though, until he is given a fair shot.

For a more optimistic take on Hamilton's immediate future, take a look at this recent piece written by Redlegs Review staff writer Jon Davis

Photo Credit: FOX Sports

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