After reading this Yahoo! Fantasy Sports Article on the Reds, I was surprised to read that the respectable Andy Behrens endorsed aggressively bidding on rookie speedster Billy Hamilton in Rounds 4-6. Which is insane. Yes he has the most stolen bases in the minor leagues at 155, but this is a guy who only had 22 at bats last season…but OMG he had 13 stolen bases! That’s 295 stolen bases if he got 500 at bats! If an early pick is all it takes to lock up stolen bases, then I got to have him on my team!
Let’s step back and look at this rationally. Although he only had 22 at bats, he was used as a pinch runner many times by the Reds where he probably got stolen bases, but never got credited for the at bat. So the 13 stolen bases in ONLY 22 at bat is deceiving. Yes he’s fast, but getting on base doesn’t mean that it’s inevitable that he’ll attempt to steal when he’s on them. Also being used as a pinch runner means he didn’t start the game, meaning less plate appearances. Billy Hamilton doesn’t actually get on base that often, he struck out double the amount of times he walked in the minors. The Red’s also signed Grady Sizemore to a deal, showing that they aren’t 100% committed to this kid. You can’t lock up any stat with one player in head to head leagues. It’s just not possible in that scoring system. And in roto leagues, you’re tanking your homerun and rbi totals throughout the season. You shouldn’t be risking one of your early picks on an unknown commodity, these are the kinds of picks that torpedo your draft.
I get it, having the shiny new toy is exciting to own, the stolen base record is really impressive, and he may be the fastest player to play baseball…ever. But this also makes him incredibly overrated, especially if he’s drafted within the 1st 10 rounds. Speed, especially as an OF, can be found much cheaper in the draft. Guys like Ben Revere, Jarred Dyson ,and Eric Young Jr. can all be scooped up later in the draft, while providing the same 1 category dominance, with some help in runs, meh help in avg., and no help elsewhere. I don’t know how Behrens, and many others, can look at these numbers and still want to draft him this early in redraft leagues. Keeper leagues, it’ll depend on the settings. But unless price is low, I’d avoid Hamilton there as well. Dynasty leagues, he’s not available anyway.