Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Billy Hamilton named top "x factor" among contending teams


Anyone who has followed the Reds over the past two weeks has likely either seen Billy Hamilton directly impact a game with his speed, or has heard the announcers rave about his potential to do so. And although the 23-year-old prospect has only made a handful of appearances, it's become crystal clear that he can positively affect the outcome of a game for Cincinnati.

With this in mind, former Reds general manager and current ESPN.com writer Jim Bowden recently compiled a list of the top "10 X factors down the stretch" among playoff contenders. And it should come as no surprise that Hamilton made the cut. In fact, Bowden even dubbed him as the No. 1 X factor.

Here is what Bowden had to say about the speedster:

1. Billy Hamilton | Impact: Game-changing pinch runner

Hamilton is by far the fastest human to wear a Reds uniform since I was their general manager and acquired Deion Sanders from the Atlanta Braves for Roberto Kelly in 1994. Hamilton already is in the record books having stolen four bases in his first four major league appearances, and most impressively, his first two were against Molina, the game’s best defensive catcher.

Hamilton has a chance to affect the pennant race with his legs, bringing back memories of Dave Roberts’ stolen base in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS.

So, there you have it.

Other X factors Bowden included in his list were Cardinals second basemen Matt Carpenter, Pirates veteran outfielder Marlon Byrd, and Rays pitcher Matt Moore.

Via ESPN

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