Friday, July 6, 2012
Billy Hamilton named one to watch in MLB Futures Game
Reds prospect Billy Hamilton has quickly become one of the hottest names among the minor league circuit this year and the main reason can be summed up in one word: SPEED. Hamilton's knack for swiping bases at an alarming rate has many scouts, coaches, and fans alike anxiously awaiting his arrival to the big show, whenever that may be.
The switch-hitting shortstop is currently a member of the Single-A Bakersfield Blaze and is set to appear in this Sunday's MLB Futures Game, which will air on ESPN2 at 5:00pm et. ESPN Insider Keith Law recently published a piece highlighting some of the top players to watch in the showcase game and he tabbed Hamilton with the honor of possessing the best running ability of any player in the game.
Here's what else Law had to say about him:
Best running speed: Billy Hamilton, SS (High Class A Bakersfield)
Hamilton has stolen 101 bases already this year in just 80 games, and he's able to do it thanks to 80 raw speed, rivaled by only a few players in pro ball right now. I can't imagine he will stay for long in the California League thanks to a .322/.413/.439 line, and his lack of strength is a concern going forward, but he will see big league time fairly soon thanks to his legs. The next-fastest player in the Futures Game is Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Anthony Gose, who is a turtle compared to Hamilton (with "only" 29 steals this year) but is a plus runner in his own right.
As Law preluded to, a promotion is likely coming in the near future for the 21-year old. Whether that means a stop in Double-A Pensacola or Triple-A Louisville remains to be seen.