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Fastest man in baseball Billy Hamilton ‘possibly’ September call-up for Reds

Aug 10, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

Billy Hamilton, Zack Cozart AP

At this point there’s little question about whether the fastest man in baseball, Reds prospect Billy Hamilton, will break the minor-league stolen base record held by Vince Coleman.

Coleman set the record with 145 steals in 1983 and Hamilton already has 133 steals with 23 games remaining.

Hamilton’s season at Double-A ends on September 3, so once he’s done shattering the record will the Reds call him up to be a pinch-runner down the stretch? Tom Groeschen of the Cincinnati Enquirer asked Dusty Baker that question today and the manager hinted pretty strongly that Hamilton will be in the majors next month:

Possibly. Speed’s always an asset. Speed kills. I remember the Cardinals with Willie McGee, Vince Coleman and Ozzie [Smith]. Man. That was their slogan, speed kills.

Baker also praised Hamilton’s development beyond the ridiculous steal total:

You’ve got to be able to play your position. You’ve got to be able to hit and get on base. You’ve got to be fundamentally sound. He’s come a long ways in a short period of time. You’ve got to have a total game, which he has, and he’s chipping off the rough edges around his game.

Toss in the fact that Hamilton is hitting .312 with a .409 on-base percentage in 110 games overall this season and that certainly sounds like someone Baker would like to have on his bench.

  1. chill1184 - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Hope the guy does break the record and he does well when he is called up.

  2. Jeremy T - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Man, if he were to come up it would just be the cherry on top of a season full of exciting rookies

  3. metalhead65 - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    why bother dusty will not play him if he is called up,can’t have him clogging up the bases with all that stealing nonsense can we? all you have to do is look at how he did not play his call ups last year when they were 15 games out. imagine how much further along Mesoraco would be if had actually got to play instead of watch a guy who everybody knew would not be back this year in hernandez who plays for the rockies now.

    • kkolchak - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      Yeah, what a horrible manager Dusty is. No wonder the Reds are in last place. Oh wait…

      • bigmeechy74 - Aug 10, 2012 at 8:30 PM

        That’s all that matters though. The only way you can judge whether a manager makes good decisions is by the W-L record. Just like the only way you can judge a hitter is by rbi’s. Good point!!!

      • chumthumper - Aug 11, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        They’re probably winning despite Dusty.

    • cur68 - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      *yawn*…right, haven’t done one of these in a while: must get it just right…now, to get into character…*cough*, *cough* (adjusts phlegm in throat, hitches trousers to nipple nine, scowls at puppies & kittens, forgets where shift & comma keys are):

      Dang you Dusty Baker! Dang you to heck!

      • metalhead65 - Aug 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        I take it you think your responses are in some way humorous? that would make one of you. as for being the grammer nazi, do you really have so much time to kill you go to a sports blog to put out such things? don’t agree with me fine but I am not in school and do not give a rat’s ass about that. you can mock me all you want but you understand what I mean or you would not comment on it. but if it makes you feel better about your self more power to you.

      • CJ - Aug 10, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        Progress! You found the comma key once. Must’ve been a mistake. Apostrophe in the right place? Now you’re just showing off.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM

        And there it is! Where has it been Cur?
        Way to long between “Dang you Dusty Baker!” “Dang you to heck!” comments.
        Metalhead: I too think it is funny.
        When I read the headline please know I couldn’t click on the article fast enough as I just knew there was going to be a woahs’ me comment from you lamenting Dusty Baker.
        Disclaimer:
        I too think Dusty is a train wreck of a Manager. I just don’t grasp for straws trying to blame every little conceivable thing on the man. Hell…you are busting his balls BEFORE he is given the chance to Dusty everything up.

      • kkolchak - Aug 10, 2012 at 4:38 PM

        “I take it you think your responses are in some way humorous”

        Yes

    • cintiphil - Aug 10, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      Metal:
      I actually agree with you one this one. Baker is not in first place because of his great managerial skills. he is in first because of the best relief pitching in baseball. It seems as though no matter who goes out on the mound in the 7th 8th or 9th in relief, (except for yesterday) they don’t allow a run. In fact, Chapman has hardly allowed a HIT his appearances. he averages more than 2 K’s per inning. I could make the decision to throw any of these guys and could win. Not to mention that the starters are pretty goo too! One has to watch every day to see this. And, I do.

      • kkolchak - Aug 10, 2012 at 4:35 PM

        Yeah, because bullpen just manages itself…guys are always deciding when to put themselves into the game in just the right situation. It’s anarchy, I tell you, anarchy.

    • cur68 - Aug 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      Dang. I blew it. I forgot the air of hauteur. Next time….

  4. paulhargis53 - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    To quote Jeff Spicoli…..

    Alright, Hamilton!!

    • ajcardsfan - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      Darn you, I read that in Spicoli’s voice…two can play at that game…
      Aloha Mr. Hand!

  5. tcostant - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    If the Reds don’t bring him up, they are crazy. Just as a pinch runner, with no AB’s this guy would be a huge weapon in any late close game. A pinch hitter gets a walk, you pinch run and seconds later your in scoring position..

    • cintiphil - Aug 10, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      I agree they have to bring him up. If however they do, he has to PLAY! That is a given, but the Duster does give one wonder. Where do you play him? Take a poor hitter out of the lineup? But where? I have ideas, but then again Dusty is the manager. I don’t think any outfielder should be starting for any MLB team who hits under .260 or so. The Reds have a couple.

      • tcostant - Aug 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        I don’t even think he needs to play to make a difference. The ML pitching might be to much for at this point, but to have him there with expanded roster in September to steal a base when needed as a pinch runner in close came, would be huge. This type of asset can’t be overstated!

      • mrredlegz - Aug 10, 2012 at 9:25 PM

        There’s only 4 Reds hitting over .270, and one of them is MIKE LEAKE! I was a little dumbfounded when I went to the Pirates game last Saturday night and Leake was the best bat in the lineup. He even pinch hit today.

  6. captainmcallister - Aug 10, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Billy Hamilton stole second and third in the time it took me to read this article.

    • kkolchak - Aug 10, 2012 at 4:37 PM

      And he stole home while metalhead was bitching about Dusty Baker.

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