Saturday, June 21, 2014

Jim Bowden tabs Billy Hamilton as top rookie in National League

If the season ended today, Billy Hamilton would most definitely be in line to become the first Reds player to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award since reliever Scott Williamson did it in 1999. ESPN analyst and former general manager Jim Bowden must agree with this logic because he recently pegged Hamilton as the best National League rookie in the 2014 class.

On Friday, Bowden published this piece highlighting who he believed to be the top 12 rookies in Major League Baseball. Although Hamilton ranked first among National League players, the speedster ranked just seventh in Major League Baseball overall. In fact, Hamilton was the only player on the list not to hail from the American League.

Needless to say, Hamilton picked a good season to make his full debut. The National League rookie class is about as weak as it has been in recent memory and that spells good news for Hamilton's chances of winning some hardware. Outside of Hamilton, who is batting .275/.311/.400 with 22 RBI, 19 XBH, and 30 stolen bases, Arizona's Chris Owings (.282/.319/.466) is really the only other rookie who might be close to Hamilton in the pecking order. Of course, that has the potential to change with Pittsburgh's Gregory Polanco being recently promoted. The guy can flat out hit, but he does have some ground to make up in the race.

Do you think Hamilton will end up winning ROY honors?

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