Monday, September 2, 2013

Reds promote top prospect Billy Hamilton


The wait for Billy Hamilton is over.

On Monday, a lifelong dream was realized as the Reds called up the 22-year-old outfielder from Triple-A Louisville, ending a relatively suspenseful wait for Reds fans.

Seen in the photo above is Hamilton sporting his No. 6 Reds jersey.

Hamilton made a name for himself last season when he set a single-season professional baseball record by stealing an unbelievable 155 bases in 192 attempts. Although, the Mississippi native hasn't exactly produced the same kind of numbers this season, he has come around since the All-Star Break, hitting .283/.324/.367 in 40 games for the Bats.

First half, I put a lot of pressure on myself, I wasn’t playing my game, I was going out there trying to think too much, I was playing too hard,” Hamilton said in the Reds clubhouse on Monday. “I knew once I started relaxing and I’d play my game, it’d come together. After the first half, I got home, I talked to my mom, she said, ‘Just be yourself, relax a little bit and play your game.’ After that, it started going good.”

Overall, the switch-hitting Hamilton has swiped 75 bags in 90 attempts this year, while sporting a slash line of .256/.308/.343 with six home runs, 18 doubles, and 41 RBI.

Hamilton said the whole situation feels surreal.

It’s going to take a game before it feels real,” Hamilton said before Monday’s game. “It feels good to come into the clubhouse with these guys. When I get into a game and watching those guys, It’ll feel real.”

Hamilton wasn't the only one who received a promotion on Monday, though. Infielder Neftali Soto joined his teammate from Louisville along with catcher Corky Miller, who was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list (thigh).

With the Reds in the midst of a pennant race, coupled with Shin-Soo Choo firmly planted in center field and lead-off, Hamilton isn't likely to see a considerable amount of playing time. But don't be surprised if Dusty Baker inserts the young gun in as a pinch-runner in late innings of close games.

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