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September 2020
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Reds prospect Hamilton chasing Minor League steals record in a season

 

Billy Hamilton (courtesy of Bakersfield Blaze)

The media who follow the Cincinnati Reds and the Bakersfield Blaze know that shortstop Billy Hamilton is a very important player in the future of the major league team.

Hamilton is a speedy, leadoff  hitter that the Reds have needed and wanted for years.

General manager Walt Jocketty continues to ignore and downplay the idea from fans and media that Hamilton should be called up during September as a situational late-inning baserunner to steal bases. Jocketty is looking at the big picture, the future.

There is no doubt the Reds need a leadoff hitter better than Zack Cozart or Chris Heisey, but Hamilton has to improve in other areas, like fielding. He made 39 errors last year for the Low-A Dayton Dragons. This year for the Advanced-A Bakersfield Blaze, the speed merchant has committed 24.

Hamilton has been the talk of Minor League Baseball this season.

He has a chance to break the all-time minor league record for steals of 145 by Vince Coleman in 1983. Everybody said that record would never be broken. But that was before Hamilton came on the scene.

In 2011 for Dayton, Hamilton lead the minor leagues with 103 stolen bases. This year, as of today, Friday, July 6, the Mississippi native has 103.

The 21-year-old Hamilton says he is just “letting the game come to him and not trying to get caught up in the 145 steals record.”

He has been caught 21 times, so it’s 103-124, a success rate of 82.4%. An excellent rating!

A switch-hitter, the 6’1, 160-pounder, who probably will end up in the Reds outfield in left-field, has drawn 49 walks and has a .326 batting average with 78 runs scored, 108 base hits, 18 doubles, 9 triples and 30 RBI’s.

The big question for the Reds management is, when will Hamilton be moved to Double-A? He has proven that Single-A is no match for him!

 

Info compiled from Cincinnati Reds, Bakersfield Blaze, Radio & TV news

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