Keith Law was the guest on ESPN's Baseball Today podcast with Eric Karabell, and he had a lot of good things to say about Billy Hamilton.
Law, a graduate of Harvard and a former assistant GM with the Toronto Blue Jays, is one of the most highly regarded judges of prospect talent among baseball writers.
Karabell asked about the 20-80 scale used for scouting, wondering whether Hamilton's speed should be a number higher than 80.
"He might be the fastest ever," Law began. "It's literally game changing speed—not as a cliche, but he actually does alter the game. Just the fact that he's on base alters what's going on...and it's not just the speed on the bases. He's got good instincts."
Karabell then asked Law about Hamilton's adjustment to the center field position.
"He's gonna get there," Law replied. "The speed combined with the instincts does give me some confidence that he's gonna get there. He's shown arm strength—surprising arm strength."
As for Hamilton at the plate:
"He's gotten stronger, but he's not strong. He's never going to be a power hitter—he doesn't have to be—he just has to not be overpowered by pitchers throwing velocity in on his hands."
His final thoughts: "Above average in center field, 80 speed that really plays in ways that alter the complexion of the game anytime he's on base...he doesn't have to do a ton at the plate to turn into an everyday player."
Overall, Law is very, very high on Billy Hamilton. He feels that the speedster should be the Opening Day center fielder for the Reds in 2014.