We have now passed the mid-season All-Star game for the California League. So I thought it was time to provide an update on Billy Hamilton of the Cincinnati Reds’ minor league team, Bakersfield Blaze. (On a side, Hamilton was robbed right after the All-Star game in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He was not hurt.)
Billy Hamilton, the switch hitting shortstop, was selected in the 2nd round of the 2009 amateur draft and 57th pick overall. He began this season in the high A California league on a tear. Throughout the month of April he boasted the best batting average of anyone in the Reds’ organization with a .398. He dipped quite a bit in the month of May with a .262 average. However, the month of June has been a good one for Hamilton. In the month of June he has a.333 average to give him an overall average of .322 for the season.
However, it is on the base path that Billy Hamilton has made his mark. Hamilton, who stands at 6’1″ and weighs 160 lbs., has racked up 80 stolen bases for the season. That is not a misprint. He has stolen 80 bases this year. More amazing still is that he has attempted 96 steals – of course he was caught 16 times. That is about 16% of the time. Pretty amazing numbers, huh?
As if the speed of Billy Hamilton needs further evidence, he’s not just a singles machine. He has 13 doubles and 8 triples for the year.
The problem for Billy Hamilton and the Cincinnati Reds (and it’s a good problem to have) is that Hamilton plays shortstop. The Reds already have a rookie on their roster, Zack Cozart, and he is playing very, very well. Moving Hamilton to second is not going to happen because of Brandon Phillips. So where Hamilton will go from here or his prospects making it to the big club any time soon is up in the air. However, as of now, he is considered the second best prospect for the Reds.