Drew Stubbs is a polarizing type of player. There are Cincinnati Reds fans that I know that want him traded immediately. Others like myself see him as a guy that gives a ton of positives and they outweigh his negatives...for now. That brings us to Billy Hamilton. Hamilton is the hot shot prospect that has stolen an insane 258 bases in two years. To steal those types of bases you have to get on base. Hamilton is getting better and better at that and already leaves Stubbs far in the dust in that category.
Don't they play different positions?
Billy Hamilton could very easily transition to center field from shortstop. He has the speed and athletic ability and to be honest, he is not working out very well at the shortstop position defensively. His struggles in the field are well documented and he has two much stronger players in front of him in this area. Zack Cozart is fairly entrenched at the moment and DiDi Gregorius is right behind Cozart. Hamilton would be the ultimate centerfielder if they let him play there for a short time.
Still a couple of years away?
I fully agree that Billy Hamilton needs to have time to develop and that would be particularly true if he ends up changing positions. The bottom line is that Hamilton is an exact copy of what the Reds desperately need right now to tip right over the top as World Series favorites. The one thing they did not have consistently was a lead off batter that got on base. Hamilton needs to be given a shot in my eyes. Rarely is a player more perfectly suited to a team's weakness than Hamilton and the Reds. Why not give him an extended look in Spring Training?
Hate to see Drew go
Drew Stubbs is one of my favorite players and I would hate to see him go on a personal level, but on a team level I think it is the right move. His troubles at the plate are actually getting worse rather than improving as virtually all of his numbers have gone backwards the last two years. Consider the drops just from 2011 to 2012.
His batting average dropped to a career low .213, down from .243 in 2011. His on base percentage was a horrid .277, down from .321 in 2011. Even his slugging percentage plummeted to .333, down from .364 the year previous. Every single offensive category regressed from 2011 to 2012. That is a scary thing when you consider that they already were accepting some issues with his offense in 2011.
Who knows what will happen from here.
*Southern is a life-long Cincinnati Reds fan that grew up watching Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and the boys dominate the Major Leagues. He longs for those days once again in Cincinnati.
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