The Cincinnati Reds have a quandary on their hands as the 2013 Major League Baseball season approaches. The team has a player that could excite and put pressure on opposing teams but doesn’t seem to want to bring him up yet in Billy Hamilton. Hamilton stole 155 bases last season in the minor leagues while hitting .311 as Hamilton finished the year at Double-A. Cincinnati has a young shortstop in Zack Cozart but the Reds have to find a place for Hamilton somewhere because you can’t leave a player with that much talent in the minor leagues for much longer.
Hamilton is likely to start the season at Triple-A where he is going to learn to play center field and how to be a switch-hitter. If Hamilton is successful in both aspects of his development early this season, what do the Reds do then? They have Shin-Soo Choo already in center field and Jay Bruce over in right. Do the Reds put Hamilton in left field or have Choo move to left? I would guess that if Hamilton can make it up to Cincinnati this season that Choo gets moved to left field.
There were already concerns about Choo in center field anyway but if Hamilton can prove he is the real deal and can be Cincinnati’s leadoff hitter for the next decade, Choo has to change positions again. He is familiar with a corner position playing right field most of his career so it shouldn’t be as bad of a move. It is up to Hamilton this season to prove he can play out in center and be a switch-hitter or all this talk will have to wait until next year.