Monday, April 22, 2013

Billy Hamilton named one of 'six players to become stars'

You don't need to be a fan of baseball to know who Reds top prospect Billy Hamilton is. Okay, that statement may be a bit of a stretch, but fans of America's favorite pastime should definitely be aware of who Hamilton is by now.

Ted Berg over at the USA TODAY certainly has and was impressed enough by the switch-hitting center field that he even included him in his latest piece entitle "Six guys set to become MLB stars."

Here is what Berg had to say about Hamilton...
With unprecedented speed on the basepaths, Hamilton became something of a folk hero in 2012 by stealing 155 bases across Single- and Double-A and setting a new record for stolen bases in a season. A shortstop until this winter, Hamilton’s still new to center field, but his quickness allows him to make up for bad reads.
In his way: The Reds have Shin-Soo Choo playing center field everyday and Choo’s off to an incredible start at the plate. But Choo’s defense in center is a concern, and starting left fielder Ryan Ludwick is on the 60-day disabled list following an opening day shoulder injury. Still, Hamilton will need to prove he can get on base regularly to make his electrifying speed an asset, and he’s off to a slow start in Triple-A Louisville. 
Trivia: Baseball’s O.G. Billy Hamilton, a Hall of Fame outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Beaneaters around the turn of the 20th century, held the record for career stolen bases from 1897 to 1978. He was known as “Sliding Billy.”
In case you are curious, the 22-year-old is batting .230/.299/.295 in 67 plate appearances for Triple-A Louisville in 2012. He is also 13-for-14 in the stolen base department.

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