The Louisville Bats may have shown us their hand on Friday.
A tweet sent out from the official account for the Triple-A team (@LouisvilleBats) last week included the popular hashtag #FF, which stands for Follow Friday. According to the Twitter glossary, ”Twitter users often suggest who others should follow on Fridays by tweeting with [this] hashtag.”
Here’s the tweet in question:
It seems pretty standard, at least on the surface: plug the radio broadcaster, promote the other minor-league affiliates and the team players hope to join, mention a catcher and popular Bat, and…a prospect who ended the season in Double-A.
So why would they mention him in the tweet? As the Reds’ top prospect (at least according to Jonathan Mayo), Hamilton is on the fast track to the big leagues with many fans anticipating a 2013 start in Cincinnati. Between Single-A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola, he put up admirable numbers on offense, and his legendary speed has been a huge factor in bolstering these stats.
On the other hand, Hamilton is one of the most popular minor leaguers on Twitter, much like Miller. With over fourteen thousand followers online and even more eyes on his progress through the farm system, it’s clear that when @b_ham_3 talks, people listen. The Bats may have mentioned his name to promote a prominent player with an excellent chance of suiting up in Louisville soon.
That provoked the thinking-out-loud part of my mind, and I responded shortly later (@kourageBRM, by the way):
Friday came and went, and with the exception of my debut article the weekend was pretty uneventful. Imagine my surprise, however, when I discovered that the Bats had responded:
My response was boilerplate for a Wahoos fan: to paraphrase, “I was glad to have him in town and even though we all love the guy, moving up would be great.” What I didn’t say — but really wanted to — was this: mark my word that by April, don’t be surprised if Billy Hamilton is on the roster. Without arguing the merits of whether or not he should spend another year in Double-A, I promise that the tweet is a very likely precursor to Hamilton’s arrival in Kentucky.
Maybe the Reds have their answer after Bill Bavasi, Reds’ vice president of scouting and player development, told us in early October that Cincinnati didn’t have any ideas in store…?