Cincinnati Reds' Billy Hamilton Needs Flourish To Seal ROY Campaign

By Robb Hoff
Cincinnati Reds, Billy Hamilton, NL Rookie of the Year
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The Cincinnati Reds are simply playing out the remainder of the 2014 schedule, and will have very little of interest or significance happening for the rest of the season — with the exception of Billy Hamilton‘s dash for NL Rookie of the Year recognition.

After a subpar outing by Reds ace Johnny Cueto Tuesday night all but relegating him to NL Cy Young Award runner-up, the only relevant individual accolade left out there for the feckless 2014 Reds is Hamilton’s ROY bid.

Hamilton isn’t exactly tearing things up during his rookie year, but in the absence of any real competition in the NL, he can probably coast to the end of the year and still win the award.

Hamilton has left his mark with 49 stolen bases and does actually lead all NL rookies in runs (66), hits (126) and RBIs (44). His on-base percentage is an awful .296, but Hamilton’s .263 batting average is enough to offset his glaring lack of plate discipline.

In the absence of any ROY-contending pitchers besides perhaps New York Mets pitchers Jeurys Familia (1.93 ERA in 65-plus innings of relief) and Jacob deGrom (3.13 ERA in 17 starts), Hamilton is primarily standing alone in the ROY field.

Even if Hamilton’s offense has been underwhelming, his presence in center field has been superb. He has the range, instincts and daring to challenge for Gold Glove consideration not only this year, but for years to come.

Hamilton could conceivably get a last-chance push from St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong or Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco, but both would have to sizzle the rest of the way to improve upon their sub-.250 BAs and otherwise lackluster offensive numbers.

Robb Hoff is a Cincinnati Reds writer for Follow him on Twitter @NFLNostradamus, like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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