Billy Hamilton (baseball, born 1990)

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This article is about the 21st century baseball player. For the 19th century outfielder, see Billy Hamilton (baseball, born 1866). For other people named William Hamilton, see William Hamilton.
Billy Hamilton
Billy Hamilton 2013.jpg
Hamilton playing for the Louisville Bats, 2013
Cincinnati Reds – No. 6
Center fielder
Born: (1990-09-09) September 9, 1990 (age 23)
Collins, Mississippi
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 3, 2013 for the Cincinnati Reds
Career statistics
(through June 27, 2014)
Batting average .278
Hits 78
Home runs 4
Runs batted in 25
Stolen bases 45
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Billy R. Hamilton (born September 9, 1990) is an American professional baseball center fielder for the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball. Hamilton holds the Minor League Baseball single-season stolen base record with 155 steals — 10 higher than the previous Minor League record set by Vince Coleman and 25 more than Rickey Henderson's Major League record.

Early career[edit]

Hamilton attended Taylorsville High School, where he was all-state in baseball, football and basketball. He was a top football prospect at wide receiver, turning down a scholarship offer from Mississippi State University.[1][2]

Hamilton was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the second round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft.[2][3][4]

Prior to the 2011 season, Hamilton was ranked by Baseball America as the 50th best prospect in baseball.[5] That season, while playing for the Dayton Dragons, Hamilton became the 12th minor league player to have 100 stolen bases in a season and the first since 2001.[6] He finished the 2011 season with 103 total stolen bases and hit .278/.340/.360.

Prior to 2012, Baseball America ranked Hamilton as the 48th best prospect.[7] MLB rated Hamilton as the 31st best prospect, fourth-best shortstop and the second-best prospect in the Reds organization behind catcher Devin Mesoraco.[8]

On August 21, 2012, Hamilton stole a record 146th base in his 120th game of the season for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. The record was previously held by Vince Coleman for the Class A Macon Redbirds in 1983.[9] He finished the 2012 season with 155 stolen bases and hit .311/.410/.420.[10]

After the 2012 season, the Reds announced that Hamilton, who originally played shortstop, would be moving to center field for 2013. Bill Bavasi, the Reds' vice president of scouting and player development told MLB.com that the move was made for several reasons, including the fact that two other established shortstops, Zack Cozart and Didi Gregorius, were already on the roster.[11]

Prior to the 2013 season, Hamilton was ranked as the Reds' best prospect by Baseball America.[12] For the season with the Louisville Bats, in 123 games he stole 75 bases and hit .256/.308/.343.[13]

Major league career[edit]

Hamilton was called up to the major leagues on September 2, 2013 and made his debut on September 3 against the St. Louis Cardinals as a pinch runner for Ryan Ludwick. He stole second base off Yadier Molina and came around to score on a Todd Frazier double.[14] Hamilton appeared in four major league games as a pinch runner until September 10 when, in the seventh inning, he replaced Shin-Soo Choo in center field and also made his batting debut, going 0-for-2 in a 9-1 loss at home to the Chicago Cubs.[15][16]

He got his first start on September 18, 2013 in a 6-5 Reds road win over the Houston Astros. Playing center field and batting ninth, in his first at-bat of the game he notched his first major league hit, a second-inning double to left field off Astros' starter Brad Peacock, and later got his first run batted in, driving in Todd Frazier with an infield single. For the game (which went 13 innings), Hamilton reached base five times, going 3-for-4 with two walks, two runs scored, one RBI and four stolen bases in four attempts off four pitchers.[17] Hamilton became the first major league player since 1920 to steal four bases in his first major league start.[18]

In his first 10 times on base, he stole nine bases and scored six runs.[19] He was successful in his first 13 steal attempts, before being thrown out on his 14th attempt.[20]

Hamilton became a regular with the Cincinnati Reds in 2014. He had something of a rough start to the season, hitting just .221 through April 27 and being caught in five of his first fifteen attempts at stealing.[21] By around the time of the All-Star break, however, Hamilton's stats had greatly improved and he was attracting great positive attention from a number of sources, tipped as potential gold glove candidate for defense[22][23] and also noted for unexpected power hitting.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Billy Hamilton, stolen base leader, is Cincinnati Reds' phenom - Albert Chen - SI.com". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. July 23, 2012. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Billy Hamilton. "Football Recruiting - Billy Hamilton - Player Profiles - ESPN". Espn.go.com. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Arizona State righty is Reds' top pick". Cincinnati.reds.mlb.com. June 19, 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Hamilton Drafted by Reds, Likely Going Pro". Nems360.com. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ "2011 Top 100 Prospects: 41-60". Baseballamerica.com. February 23, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  6. ^ Schoenholtz, David. "Hamilton steals three bags to reach 100". Milb.com. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  7. ^ "2012 Top 100 Prospects". Baseballamerica.com. February 21, 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  8. ^ "2012 Prospect Watch".
  9. ^ Jeff PassanLike0Follow0 (July 9, 2012). "Reds farmhand Billy Hamilton might be the fastest player ever; has 104 stolen bases this year.". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Billy Hamilton Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-reference.com. September 9, 1990. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  11. ^ Sheldon, Mark (October 3, 2012). "Cueto, Arroyo, Latos to start first three of NLDS". MLB.com. Retrieved July 24, 2013. 
  12. ^ By J.J. Cooper (January 9, 2013). "Cincinnati Reds Baseball America top 2013 prospects". Baseballamerica.com. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Billy Hamilton Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  14. ^ Warnermuende, Jeremy (September 3, 2013). "Hamilton's speed boosts brilliant Bailey, Reds". MLB.com. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Billy Hamilton 2013 Batting Gamelogs". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  16. ^ "Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds - Box Score - September 10, 2013 - ESPN". Scores.espn.go.com. September 10, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Cincinnati Reds vs. Houston Astros - Box Score - September 18, 2013 - ESPN". Scores.espn.go.com. September 18, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Cincinnati Reds vs. Houston Astros - Recap - September 18, 2013 - ESPN". Scores.espn.go.com. September 18, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  19. ^ ESPN (September 18, 2013). "@ESPNStatsInfo status update". Twitter. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  20. ^ Calcaterra, Craig (September 25, 2013). "Billy Hamilton was thrown out stealing". NBCSports. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  21. ^ Christina, Kahrl (June 27, 2014). "The evolution of Billy Hamilton". ESPN. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  22. ^ Ortiz, Jorge (July 4, 2014). "Billy Hamilton hits the brakes - and then takes off". USA Today. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  23. ^ Fay, John (June 24, 2014). "Is Billy Hamilton the best CF in baseball? Stats say so". Cincinnati.com. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  24. ^ Fay, John (July 6, 2014). "Time to recalibrate expectations for Hamilton". Cincinnati.com. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 

External links[edit]