Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Hamilton more than a Herb Washington?
By Doug Mittler
Can Billy Hamilton do more than just run?
The Cincinnati Reds hope to find that out after promoting the 22-year-old outfielder on Monday. Also summoned from Triple-A Louisville were catcher Corky Miller and corner infielder Neftali Soto.
In 2012, Hamilton broke Vince Coleman's minor league record for steals in a season with a ridiculous 165. And in his first taste of Triple-A this season, he tacked on 75 in 123 games. Hamilton, who made the full conversion from shortstop to outfield, batted .256 with a .308 on-base percentage, but his numbers were better in the second half.
In his look at September promotions, ESPN.com’s Keith Law says Hamilton will have to find a way to get on base:
Keith LawOutlook for Top September Callups
"The luster is somewhat off Hamilton after a very disappointing 2013 season in Class AAA where he hit .256/.308/.343 and his grade-80 speed wasn't enough to make up for his lack of hand and wrist strength at the plate. Pitchers can pound him inside and he hasn't yet shown he can find a way to adjust to this to be able to prop up his batting average. He'll have value this month as a tactical weapon for the Reds because his speed is game-altering, but if he can't get himself on base enough to let the speed play, he'll probably end up little more than Cincinnati's Herb Washington."