Fantasy potential of Hamilton, Young Jr. 

April, 1, 2014
Two of the five players projected for the most stolen bases in the major leagues this season went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in their season openers Monday, the famed golden sombrero. While it’s never a good idea to panic after one game -- there are 161 more to go! -- the fact is that when it comes to Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton and New York Mets outfielder Eric Young Jr., it’s a bit tough to tell just how much patience their own teams will have with them.

It’s true that I’ve spent much of the winter calling Hamilton one of the most overrated fantasy options in the game, and nothing that occurred Monday changed that. Then again, nothing that happened to Hamilton on Monday changed anything at all, so don’t act on this performance from a fantasy sense.

Billy Hamilton
Jamie Sabau/Getty ImagesReds outfielder Billy Hamilton went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts Monday against St. Louis.
Let’s be honest: The Reds aren’t going to bench or demote the fastest baseball player in the world because St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, arguably the top active fantasy pitcher right now because Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish are on the disabled list, made him look silly in his four at-bats. Hamilton managed a half-swing on a few foul balls, but was basically no match. Wainwright makes many hitters look silly. While I still feel that Hamilton is overwhelmed at the plate and lesser pitchers also will toy with him, nobody should sell a player capable of stealing 75 bases -- or more -- off one tough afternoon, even the most critical of us. There remains incredible upside and the Reds will not overreact yet.