2006 Ranking: NR
School: Tulane University
Cardinal: Selected in the supplemental second round of the June, 2006
First-Year Player Draft as compensation for the Phillies' signing of free agent
Abraham Nunez. Received a $465,000 signing bonus. 2006 AVG. AB H HR RBI R SB BB K OBP. SLG OPS
Jason Scott (19): Other than the eight home runs, which led the NY-Penn League, or his .538 slugging percentage with State College, there's really not that much that stands out in Hamilton's 2006 performance after being drafted. He has always been known for his power, however, and those eight home runs came in just 30 games for State College, yet he still tied for the league lead. He also hit 20 home runs for Tulane this past spring, despite the fact that they played there games at Triple-A Zephyr Field because of Hurricane Katrina damage to their field. Hopefully he can at least turn out to be better than the last power-hitting first baseman the Cardinals drafted in the second round.
Leonda Markee (22): Mark Hamilton's performance in his professional debut season was noteworthy enough to land him as Baseball America's 12th-best prospect in the New York-Penn League. Hamilton shared the league's home run title with three other players while doing it in less than half the at bats. (Hamilton spent less than a month at State College before being promoted to class A Quad Cities on July 24th.) His K rate remained stable at about 1:4.4 at bats in both short A and full season A. But his walk rate went from 1:9 plate appearances at State College to 1:15 plate appearances in Quad Cities. The overall drop-off in his numbers from State College to Quad Cities, listed above, plus reported defensive limitations prevent him from being ranked higher on my list.
Ray Mileur (18): If first impressions really mean anything, Hamilton is going to be a star. This season Mark led the NY-P League with eight home runs before he was promoted in July replacing Midwest League home run leader 1B Randy Roth with the Swing.
He didn't miss a beat after his promotion, going 5-for-8 with a double and five RBI in his first two games in Davenport that included a four-RBI outburst in the first game and a game-tying single in the eighth inning in the second game. For the year, Hamilton finished with a .258 average with 11 homers and 49 RBIs in just 68 games for the Swing.
The supplemental second-round pick (76th overall) was drafted by the Cardinals out of Tulane University, where he hit .336 as a senior with a conference-best 20 home runs to earn Conference Player of the Year and Baseball America First Team All-America honors.
Coming in at #18 this year, Hamilton is on the way up, not down in these rankings.
Brian Walton (14): The Cardinals' compensation pick for losing Abraham Nunez is a very fine power-hitting prospect at a position that almost demands it, first base. Hamilton has the physique, being listed at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. He hit 11 home runs in his first half-season as a professional, good enough for the New York-Penn League title before being promoted and showed the ability to hit for decent average for a power hitter, too (.258).
On the other hand, his ultimate future may not be with the Cardinals because of his position and questions about whether he is athletic enough to handle the outfield, ala Chris Duncan. Still, BA ranked Hamilton as their #6 prospect among all minor league first basemen - a very fine compliment.
STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking), NR = Not RatedTo see our entire list of 40 prospects as they are unveiled daily, click here.
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