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Reds History

Insane leaping catch suggests former Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton's still got it

Chicago White Sox outfielder Billy Hamilton (0) makes a miraculous catch.
Chicago White Sox outfielder Billy Hamilton (0) makes a miraculous catch. / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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The Seattle Mariners roster is full of former Cincinnati Reds. Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suárez, and Taylor Trammell are all likely to find their name on the M's Opening Day roster. One former Reds player who might not be so lucky is Billy Hamilton.

Hamilton signed a minor league contract with the Mariners this spring, but with the depth Seattle has in their outfield, the defensive wizard might not make the Opening Day roster. But, that didn't stop the former Reds centerfielder from making a spectacular play during a spring training game on Friday.

With one out in the seventh inning of a tie ball game between the Mariners and the Rockies, Colorado's Elias Díaz lifted a high fly ball deep into left-center field. The ball looked to be ticketed for the front row of the bleachers, but Hamilton leaped into the air, scaled the wall and made a stupendous catch to rob Díaz.

Former Reds OF Billy Hamilton looked like Superman on Friday night.

Those types of plays were commonplace during Billy Hamilton's tenure with the Cincinnati Reds. The speedster was easily one of the most entertaining Reds players over the past decade. Hamilton made difficult plays look routine on a regular basis during his six seasons in the Queen City.

Of course, Hamilton's speed and defense never helped him at the plate. Were it not for Hamilton's inability to get on-base, he might still be with the club. Hamilton was non-tendered after the 2018 season and replaced by Nick Senzel in center field the following season.

Since taking over for Hamilton, Senzel has played just 163 games at the major league level and isn't even in the same stratosphere as Hamilton in terms of defensive ability in the outfield. The Cincinnati Reds do have a terrific young center field talent in the minor leagues who'll remind a lot of fans of Billy Hamilton.

Former fourth-round draft pick Michael Siani is a glove-first outfielder who's looking to make an impression in the minor leagues this season. Siani's defense is already major league-ready, but much like Hamilton, Siani has struggled in the batters' box.

Next. 9 bold predictions for the Reds 2022 season. dark

It's criminal that Billy Hamilton never won a Gold Glove during his tenure with the Cincinnati Reds. Especially during the 2016 season when Hamilton was easily one of the best defenders in the game. Ender Inciarte took home the award that season, but it should have gone to Hamilton. Here's hoping the former Reds outfielder breaks camp with M's or finds a home elsewhere during the 2022 season.

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