Second Look: Billy Hamilton

His speed is off the charts but his hitting approach needs a lot of work

Originally Published: August 7, 2012
By Kiley McDaniel | ESPN Insider
Billy HamiltonRon Vesely/MLB/Getty ImagesBilly Hamilton is hitting .315 across two levels with 139 steals in 113 games.

From now until the end of the season, we'll be giving you an updated report on prospects who appeared on Keith Law's preseason top 100 or midseason top 50 prospect rankings. Today we're taking a second look at Billy Hamilton, the Cincinnati Reds prospect who is on the verge of breaking the minor league single-season stolen bases record, and Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, who was acquired from the Chicago Cubs in the Matt Garza deal before the 2010 season.

Billy Hamilton
Position: SS
Level: Double-A (Pensacola)
Age: 21
Law's preseason ranking: 64 | Law's midseason ranking: 27

Since being picked 57th overall in the 2009 draft from a Mississippi high school, Reds shortstop prospect Billy Hamilton has been called the fastest player in organized baseball. This season, split between high Class A and Double-A, he is on pace to break the minor league stolen bases record of 145, set by Vince Coleman at low Class A Macon in 1983.

Hamilton has 139 swipes already this year, and there are rumors the Reds will call him up in September, primarily as a pinch runner. While his speed would surely wreak havoc, even in the big leagues, Hamilton still has a number of things to refine before he can be a full-time big leaguer.


To read more of Kiley McDaniel's scouting report on minor league prospects Billy Hamilton and Hak-Ju Lee, become an Insider today.