On Reds prospect Billy Hamilton
They say speed kills, which in this case, Billy Hamilton is killing everyone. If you haven’t heard of Billy Hamilton, he’s the Cincinnati Reds shortstop prospect, who has 139 stolen bases between High-A and Double-A this season. Those 139 stolen bases are just 6 shy of shattering Vince Coleman’s minor league record of 146, which was set back in 1983. The record is going to be broken sometime this week, but would Hamilton have been here without making adjustments?
I’m not going to include stats, but Hamilton struggled immensely with his approach. Last season, he played for the Dayton Dragons; his first full-season as a full-time switch-hitter. While he struggled in the first-half, he turned his whole prospect status around and now is a legitimate top 35 prospect.
With the Reds in the playoff hunt, it makes sense to call-up Hamilton as a pinch-runner. After this season, questions will flock about his position and if he can hit enough to be an effective major leaguer. But one things for certain, he’s the fastest man in baseball right now and can change the whole culture of a sport.
Today, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick has a feature on Billy Hamilton and the story behind the man. I was lucky enough to speak with Hamilton last season and it’s astonishing how far he has come in his development process. Take a listen here and we’ll see you in September, Billy.