Billy Hamilton is really fast. A record 147 stolen bases tells us that. He also has proven to be just more than a quick pair of cleats. A .317/.417/.433 slash line gives that credence. To be honest, the stolen bases are fantastic to see as a Reds fan and it has given a ton of exposure to the Reds organization from those all around baseball but I am just as excited about his development as an all around player. Hamilton’s excellent OBP, switch hitting, and increased ability to draw a walk (80 thus far in 2012 as opposed to 52 in 2011) has me pondering his utility in the more immediate future.
I have heard suggestions that Hamilton should be called up from AA to lend a hand to the big league club once September call ups come into effect. Given Hamilton’s specific set of skills and the buzz surrounding him, he could provide some value to the Reds this season. You never really think about a pinch runner being a weapon but swiping 147 bases sure would make an opposing pitcher think. Once the end of the regular season draws near crucial late inning situations become more and more relevant. Being able to put a man on first who has the ability to swipe all the way over to third could really prove a positive impact. There is no reason that Hamilton could not be put into situations game-to-game where he can both develop a bit more and help the major league club even at 21.
Not only that but being a switch hitter offers Hamilton the ability to come up batting lefty with the intent of laying a bunt toward third. I am willing to bet that a halfway decent bunt toward the third baseman is going to be a very close play nearly every time with Hamilton. Even extrapolating his performance from AA to the major league level, it is not out of question to expect that Hamilton could prove to be a late inning sub who could get on base 35% of the time and worry the pants off of every pitcher on the mound with him at first. Definitely a valuable asset to be able to call upon coming into the playoff run.
I definitely know I’m rooting for this possibility. And not just because of the added value to the Reds as a winning ballclub. I’ll make sure I make it to Great American Ballpark before the season ends if Hamilton gets the call because its not just anywhere that you can see both the fastest arm and quickest feet in the game all on the same field.
Should Billy Hamilton be a September call-up?
- Yes (58%, 119 Votes)
- No (42%, 87 Votes)
Total Voters: 206