Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 200
Acquired: Drafted 11th round from Washington State in 2016
FutureSox Prospect Rankings
- #28 – 2016 Midseason
- #26 – 2018 Preseason
- #19 – 2018 Midseason
- #17 – 2019 Preseason
- #26 – 2019 Midseason
- VIDEO: Full At Bat, K, 6/25/2016
- In-Person Report, June 2016
- All FutureSox articles tagged Ian Hamilton
- Southern League All Star, 2018
Hamilton was the team’s only signing outside the first 10 rounds of the 2016 draft who took a pool-hitting bonus ($101,800, with the tiny $1800 being an apparent symbolic gesture). He was a reliever his first two years in college, then in the rotation in his third and final year at Washington State, and excelled in the Cape Cod League the summer before changing his role. After signing, he made a brief single-outing tune-up appearance in the AZL before being promoted to Class A Kannapolis. There the 21-year-old pitched 31.2 innings of short outings (some starts, but abbreviated ones), keeping the hits away (6.3 H/9), striking out 7.7 per nine and walking 4 per nine. Hamilton opened 2017 with A+ Winston-Salem and cruised, but struggled upon promotion to AA Birmingham getting hit a lot harder. He had no issues back with the Dash to finish 2017. Ian had a big 2018: a 1.26 WHIP, 4.3 BB/9, 12.1 K/9 line with AA Birmingham (25.1 IP) led to a promotion to AAA Charlotte, where he was again very strong (0.84 WHIP, 1.4 BB/9, 9.6 K/9) in 26.1 IP. Capping off his big run, Hamilton was promoted to Chicago for a brief 8-inning pro debut.
Ian works slowly and deliberately on the mound. He’s somewhat arm-heavy in his delivery, but has learned to use his lower half more effectively in the last year or two which has helped him add substantially more velocity. In some ways similar to Carson Fulmer, Hamilton generates velocity from a relatively small frame and some significant effort (though Hamilton’s isn’t as violent as Fulmer’s). In fact, the velocity has been bumping up in a relief role. The primary pitch is a fastball that was running mostly 93-94 in our A-ball look and peaking at 95, and it’s got some arm-side fade, but as 2017 went on he was throwing it in the upper 90’s and even hit 99. His main secondary pitch is an upper 80’s slider that showed very nice break, but reportedly can get up to 90 and has been getting plus marks from scouts. His location is still not precision, but has improved as well to where he’s keeping walks at a reasonable level. The increase in velocity added to an already intriguing profile make Ian one of the better relief prospects in the organization, and there’s a good chance he stick in Chicago in 2019 as part of the future.
Major League Outlook: Late inning reliever
ETA: Late 2018
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