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Reds buzz on Billy Hamilton


Cincinnati Reds hats & apparelThe news out of the Cincinnati Reds camp is that Minor League player Billy Hamilton is the player with a great future in their organization. Analysts confirmed this Tuesday night when MLB Network aired the top 50 prospects of 2013, ranking Billy Hamilton number 11.

Hamilton, who has been playing shortstop in the Reds farm system since 2009, initially made headlines when he stole 103 bases during the 2011 season while playing for the Reds Low-A affiliate, the Dayton Dragons. In 2012, Hamilton was called up to the High-A Bakersfield Blaze where he stole 104 bases and batted .311 in 82 games before advancing to the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos. He stole 51 more bases in Pensacola and finished the season with a remarkable total of 155 stolen bags.

Hamilton, who turned 22 back in September, is as thin as he is tall, carrying only 160 lbs on his 6’1" frame. While his lankiness provides him the speed and agility to be a great shortstop, his true talent lies in stealing bases. His fielding on the other hand was erratic at times. With the promising future of a young star on their hands, the Reds are minimizing his fielding woes by converting Hamilton into an outfielder. Hamilton began his transition to centerfield this past fall in the Arizona leagues But with the Reds' recent addition of centerfielder Shin-Soo Choo, Hamilton most likely will not make his Major League debut this season.

In all of baseball history, only 20 Major League players have stolen 100+ bases in a single season. Ironically, Billy Hamilton’s name is already on the list. Nineteenth century player William Robert Hamilton, known as “Sliding Billy” accomplished this feat four times during his career (1888-1901).



By: Karen L. Willdermood
MLBCenter.com Staff Writer

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