The maturation of Billy Hamilton 

February, 28, 2013

Billy HamiltonMichael Chang/Getty ImagesEveryone knows Billy Hamilton can steal bases, but other aspects of his game are still developing.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin is very good at what he does, an executive with an old-school background but with an eagerness to absorb new-school thought. And as I watched young speedster Billy Hamilton take batting practice in the Reds' camp here Wednesday, I thought of something Melvin said last year, in reference to Carlos Gomez: Sometimes the speed guys take a little more time to develop.

Hamilton surged his way toward the big leagues last season, racking up a record 155 stolen bases between high Class A and Double-A, compiling a .410 on-base percentage and generating speculation about whether the Cincinnati Reds might promote him for some specialty duty in September and the playoffs. Hamilton is 22 years old and earned his place as the No. 30 overall prospect on Keith Law's top 100 prospects.