Cincinnati Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton misses on stolen base crown

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Thanks to yet another injury, Cincinnati Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton falls short in stolen base chase.

The Cincinnati Reds desperately want to see center fielder Billy Hamilton win a stolen base crown.  This is the third year in a row that Hamilton missed time due to injury.  In each of those seasons Hamilton led the National League in steals prior to the injury.

In 2014 Dee Gordon had his breakout season for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  He led all of MLB with 64 steals.  That season Hamilton was healthy all season, but finished second at 56.

In 2015 Dee Gordon once again beat Hamilton, this time as a Miami Marlin.  Hamilton closed the gap losing by just one.  He also missed the last month of the season with a shoulder injury.

In 2016 Hamilton lost the stolen base crown to Milwaukee Brewers’ shortstop Jonathan Villar.  Villar had a breakout year offensively and took advantage on the base paths.  Hamilton missed the end of the season with an oblique injury.

Want your voice heard? Join the Blog Red Machine team!

Write for us!

In 2017 it was a thumb injury that essentially cost him the stolen base crown.  He came back to make a stab at the title, but the injury cost him the first two weeks of September.  Some would call Hamilton snake bit, but it is more than that.

With Billy Hamilton’s inability to stay healthy, the Cincinnati Reds may move their center fielder.

More from Reds News

The Reds keep waiting for Hamilton to go from great to elite.  He plays the best defense in the majors without a Gold Glove.  He also is the best base stealer, but with a stolen base crown.

The Reds are loaded with outfielders in their minor league system.  This year saw the debuts of both Jesse Wnker and Phllip Ervin.  Of course, none of the options are as strong as Hamilton defensively.

Hamilton’s saving grace with the Reds may be his inability to stay healthy.  The Reds won’t get as much for him in the trade market because of his injury history.  

They may encourage the Reds to keep him.

Last off-season, the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets and Texas Rangers all asked about Hamilton.  The Rangers were the only team that came close.  The Dodgers and Mets wanted Hamilton, but didn’t have any interest in paying what the Reds wanted for the speedster.

Next: Shohei Otano is free agent target

The good news is that Hamilton’s injuries allow the Reds to keep him.  He will earn less in arbitration because of the injuries.  Now Hamilton will likely have a chance to chase to crown in 2018.