New York Mets Player Evaluations: Outfielder Billy Hamilton

New York Mets, Billy Hamilton

Brodie Van Wagenen added to his list of questionable moves as New York Mets general manager by trading for Billy Hamilton. They traded a pitcher with a 2.60 career minor league ERA for one hit from Hamilton as he struggled to make an impact with anything but his glove or legs.

The Mets received a month of Hamilton after trading away Jordan Humphreys. Hamilton only received five starts in 16 games which resulted in one hit over 22 at-bats. His sole purpose of joining the team was to add speed and outfield defense with Jake Marisnick dealing with his hamstring issues.

Hamilton was still a stolen base threat with three successful tries in four attempts. His only caught stealing came in a game where it almost cost the Mets a victory. After getting to second base, he decided it was a good idea to attempt to steal third with no one out in the inning. Thankfully, J.D. Davis bailed him out with a home run on the following pitch to tie the game.

Minor League Hitter

Hamilton’s swing has continually gotten worse as it almost seems no hitting coach has tried to fix it at any level. His defense and elite speed are the only things that allow him to keep landing jobs at the big league level. The Mets ended up putting Hamilton on waivers in September and the Chicago Cubs claimed him.

Hamilton tripled his hit total in a Cubs uniform but it still left his hitting line at .125/.171/.219 over 32 at-bats. He also totaled three more stolen bases and overall continued to be an elite defender, with his arms and his legs all season. Hamilton should continue to get invites to Spring Training as long as he continues to run and defend well.

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

Hitting: 20 (20), .225 average in the last three seasons.

Power: 20 (20), Only one season above five home runs in his eight-year career.

Run: 80 (75), Might lose a step next year but still has elite speed and good baserunner.

Arm: 65 (65), Two outfield assists on the 2020 season.

Field: 75 (75), Fringe Gold Glove Caliber if he played every day.

Overall: 30 (30), Great personality but only a defensive/baserunning specialist at this point in his career.

New York Mets and Miami Marlins Postpone Game in Demonstration

New York Mets

The 15 minutes of the SNY telecast between the New York Mets and Miami Marlins was what seemed like an eternity of eerieness and suspense. It looked like a standard game, with all the players in uniform and even stretching before the 7:10 start, but things changed instantly.

For the time between 7:00 and 7:10, players from both teams were outside their dugouts, and some on the field performing pre-game routines. Michael Wacha had not thrown a warmup pitch at any point, which made it evident at that point that there would be no baseball.

The Long Five Minutes

During the time between 7:10 and 7:15, the Mets were led out of the dugout by Dominic Smith and Billy Hamilton, the two black players on the active Mets roster. Their infielders warmed up, while Wacha and catcher Wilson Ramos just stood there watching for leadoff hitter Lewis Brinson to be announced.

After Brinson stepped into the box, Wacha stepped off the mound, and players from both teams lined up in front of their respective dugouts. They removed their caps and took a 42 second moment of silence on the eve of Jackie Robinson Day, which is celebrated by all teams on Friday.

After the 42 seconds ended, both teams tipped their caps to themselves and walked off the field. A lone “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt was left on home plate by Brinson and displayed on the scoreboard.

Brodie’s Face Turn

A leak from about 6 p.m. showed Brodie Van Wagenen discussing an idea Rob Manfred had for the players to leave the field at 7:10 p.m. then return to play an hour later. He criticized Manfred’s leadership ability saying, “he just doesn’t get it.”  After it broke, Van Wagenen released a press release saying it was Jeff Wilpon’s idea but with the corruption between Wilpon and Manfred, who knows who is being truthful.

Throughout the chaoticness of today, what both teams did are getting attention. Whatever emotion it made you feel, it did exactly what their goal was…create emotion and continue the conversation. Friday’s doubleheader is still up in the air, but if they play, game one against the New York Yankees starts at 4:10 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium. Michael Wacha likely takes the mound against Jordan Montgomery.

Billy Hamilton figures to contribute elite baserunning and defense to the New York Mets

Simeon Woods-Richardson

Knowing that Jake Marisnick is currently on the shelf with a strained left hamstring, but before Yoenis Cespedes decided to opt out of the remainder of the season, the New York Mets traded for outfielder Billy Hamilton to shore up the position.

The two mentioned players are leaving a hole in the team depth, because despite he was viewed as the Mets’ primary designated hitter, Cespedes was slated to see the outfield every once in a while.

Hamilton, despite a weak bat (.242/.297/.326 career line with a 67 wRC+), carries tremendous value as a defensive center fielder and, of course, on the basepaths with his game-changing speed. He has had a couple of +2.5 fWAR seasons (2.7 in 2014 and 2.9 in 2016) almost entirely based on those two components of the game.

In exchange, the New York Mets sent right-handed pitcher Jordan Humphreys to the San Francisco Giants.

The Mets were looking for a glove-first center fielder

Hamilton is currently in third place among active players with 299 thefts in his career. The Mets were looking for a center fielder to back up starter Brandon Nimmo while Marisnick is injured, and they found him in Hamilton. Despite his arrival, the team hasn’t activated him yet, as Ryan Cordell is serving as the backup for now.

Hamilton only batted .218 with a .564 OPS in 119 games with the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves in 2019.

Hamilton has accumulated 73 career Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) as a center fielder in the past decade.

“I had a great year in 2018 and I tell everybody — they’re like, ‘What happened, what was the difference?’” said Mets reliever Jared Hughes, one of Hamilton’s teammates on that Reds club. “I tell them, ‘Billy was my center fielder.’ He just caught everything. He robbed the homers. Anything that I gave up that was hard-hit to the outfield, Billy was there diving for it.”

Added Hughes to MLB.com: “The guy’s incredible and he’s got tons of energy. He’s a good influence in the clubhouse. Everybody loves him.”

The Mets can also use Hamilton’s speed to take advantage of the new extra inning rule.