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Astros Select Quincy Hamilton in 5th round, 148th overall

A fifth-year senior, Hamilton is a signability pick with big time production on his résumé.

Wright State was one of the very best offenses in college baseball in 2021, and while they do play in a hitter-friendly home park, the club’s strong underdog performance in the postseason proved that they weren’t a fluke. While Tyler Black deservedly soaked up most of the publicity, underclassman Alec Sayre and new Astro Quincy Hamilton did plenty of the heavy lifting as well. In fact, Hamilton actually outpaced Black in OBP and SLG, posting figures of .535 and .771 respectively. Yes, I’m looking at the right columns. It’s not a stretch to say that he was one of the biggest offensive threats in college baseball in 2021, showing off some very impressive command of the strike zone.

That type of production typically doesn’t make it to the fifth round, particularly not as a likely underslot pick, so most are probably wondering what the catch is in Hamilton’s profile. The biggest cause for alarm would be his age- Hamilton is already 23 years old, and a fifth year senior. Baseball America reported that he had interest as an undrafted free agent in 2020, so it’s more likely than not that he’d be in pro ball already had the draft not been shortened, but it’s important to contextualize production at lower levels of play. If there’s an issue as far as his game is concerned, it’s uncertainty about how much his power will play in pro ballparks - he managed 15 bombs this past season, but most of those came in the friendly confines of his home park. Hamilton has some obvious strength, but his frame isn’t especially big and it’s pretty maxed out, and the swing plane is a bit on the flatter side, so the concerns are legitimate. Combine that with a left field defensive fit- which is most likely in the eyes of evaluators despite center being his primary position in college- and his advanced age, and it’s understandable that he’s gone a bit overlooked.

Perhaps the ultimate ceiling isn’t particularly huge with Hamilton, but he’s a standout hitter who walked 56 times against just 32 strikeouts in 241 2021 plate appearances, and that’s quite a bit to work with for a cost saving selection. He should be pushed aggressively as soon as he gets into pro ball, as he’s already age appropriate for the upper minors, but he could well be up to the task. Even if the consensus on his power is correct, he has a chance to crack a big league roster as a depth outfielder with on-base skills with the capability to fill in at multiple spots.