Billy Hamilton throws to first base during the 2012 All Star Futures Game. Hamilton will participate in the Arizona Fall League's Rising Stars Game Saturday. (Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE)

Billy Hamilton Headlines AFL Rising Stars Game


Top-rated Reds prospect Billy Hamilton will star in the Arizona Fall League’s Rising Stars Game alongside longtime teammate Curtis Partch, representing the AFL West.

A fusion of an All-Star and Futures game, the Rising Stars Game boasts a 72.6% graduation rate as players dating back to the game’s inception in 2006 have reached the major leagues, including last year’s AFL stars Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. Hamilton — who played in the MLB Futures Game in July –  has since moved to the outfield, as the Reds’ worst-kept secret was finally confirmed earlier last month.

After wowing crowds in Single-A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola, Hamilton finished with 155(!) stolen bases and a respectable .311 clip but struggled at shortstop, racking up thirty-one errors between the two teams. In twelve games with the Peoria Javelinas, Hamilton is batting .233 with six thefts and fifteen total bases, splitting playing time with other prospects during the short fall season.

The division-leading Javelinas are well-represented on the AFL West roster, taking eleven of twenty-six roster spots with prospects from the Reds, Twins, Phillies, Padres, and Mariners organizations. Hamilton will be joined by pitcher Curtis Partch, a starter-turned-closer who has improved tremendously between Bakersfield and Pensacola. After Double-A hitters shelled him earlier in the season, Partch moved to the bullpen and recorded a Blue Wahoos-high 21.2 straight scoreless innings. In 8.2 innings over eight outings in Peoria, Partch is 0-0 with a 2.08 ERA and a save.

The Rising Stars Game will air tonight at 8 p.m. ET on the MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius/XM Radio.

Tags: Arizona Fall League Billy Hamilton Cincinnati Reds

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  • BruceAlmighty

    Partch’s comeback is quite incredible. He may have a low ceiling but he’s a chameleon, able to adapt to any situation. Pensacola scratched him as a starter and used him as a middle reliever and later closer, which helped bolster the weak bullpen.

    Though he might be part of the 27% that doesn’t make the major leagues, he’ll be pretty effective in Double and Triple-A for a few more years.