One of, if not the, the fastest player in professional baseball, Hamilton continues to excel at the plate and on the basepaths. He was able to showcase his breathtaking speed at the MLB Futures game in July and has continued to show excellent on-base skills since his call-up to Double-A Pensacola.
Hamilton’s swing is fluid and quick from the left side, fitting for his line-drive/ground-ball approach. His right-handed swing is slightly longer, but generates a bit more pop. One of the only issues I have with Hamilton’s approach is how he tends to lunge at pitches outside the strike-zone too often. His two-strike approach in terms of shortening up is great, but he won’t get away with chasing bad pitches as often at the higher levels against better pitching and better defensive players. Unless he improves this part of his approach, I foresee him struggling to hit for AVG early in his big league career. He also has very little power and won’t likely develop much in the future, though inside the park homeruns might be a more frequent occurrence for him that just about any other player in the game.
Defensively, Hamilton is a centerfielder trying to play shortstop. He gets to a lot of grounders due to his elite speed, but he lacks the hands, arm strength and arm accuracy to play everyday at the big league level. Sooner or later, he will have to move to the outfield.
Hamilton has an above average chance to become an impact major leaguer who can change the game with his speed, but his impact with the bat will be determined by how he adjusts when more advanced pitchers constantly try to expand the zone with two strikes.
Ceiling: .300/.390/.390 hitter with 100-plus stolen base potential and excellent range in center field.
Floor: .250/.330/.320 hitter with 100-plus stolen base potential and excellent range in left, but not the arm for center field