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Speedster Billy Hamilton an unlikely callup for Reds

Aug 29, 2012, 2:16 PM EST

Billy Hamilton AP

150-steal guy Billy Hamilton would seem to be a nice piece to have around with expanded rosters in September, but the Reds are “probably not” going to call him up, GM Walt Jocketty said Wednesday.

The 21-year-old Hamilton has set a minor league record with 154 steals for high-A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola this season. He’s hit .319/.418/.431 between the two levels.

If Hamilton doesn’t get a callup, it’ll be mostly about the 40-man roster. Not only is Hamilton not on it now, but he won’t need to be added this winter, giving the Reds an extra spot to play with then. The Reds are at 40 right now, and they don’t have a whole lot of flexibility.

Which is too bad, because it’d be great to see Hamilton show off his wheels next month. The game’s fastest player, he would make an impact as a pinch-runner.

Hamilton is slated to take part in the Arizona Fall League when it kicks off in October.

  1. stlouis1baseball - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Too bad. I was looking forward to seeing him run the bases. Who knows…he still may be called up.
    I certainly wouldn’t expect Walt to divulge that right now anyway.

    • natslady - Aug 29, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      Who’s the slowest player on your team, st. louis? You can look forward to him stealing all weekend, maybe that will console you… :)

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 29, 2012 at 5:23 PM

        That would be the Catcher. Who will not be stealing for at least a couple of days as a result of yesterday’s collision. Which was (once again)…a clean baseball play.

  2. thefalcon123 - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    I know for years everyone vastly overvalued stolen bases and vastly undervalued the impact of caught stealing. But I still miss the constant running.

    Over/Under that he matches the career stolen base total of his namesake?

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hamilbi01.shtml

    • b7p19 - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:50 PM

      Never really looked at Sliding Billy’s stats that closely before. I mean REALLY? .521 OBP in 702 PA’s? Holy Crap!

      • Roger Moore - Aug 29, 2012 at 7:43 PM

        Well, you can think of the 1890’s as being kind of like the 1990’s, except more so. The mound was moved back 5 feet in 1893, and the batters went wild. 1894 was the highest scoring season in NL history, with teams averaging over 7 runs a game and the whole league (including pitchers) averaging .309/.379/.435. When Hamilton hit .402 in 1894, that was only good for 4th best on his team, and wasn’t even within shouting distance of the league leader, Hugh Duffy, who hit .440.

        That’s not to say Hamilton wasn’t a great player- he has a ton of black ink, and it’s in important categories like runs and on base percentage- but you have to understand the context. He spent the prime of his career in an era with eye-popping scoring, and you really can’t naively compare them to anything you’re familiar with. If you use Baseball-Reference’s neutralized batting stats and move him to the 2000 Rockies, his rate stats barely move (though his totals go up because the seasons were shorter when he played).

    • Tim OShenko - Aug 29, 2012 at 3:56 PM

      Wow, his numbers really dropped off in ’92. Only 57 stolen bases in 139 games?

  3. theawesomersfranchise - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Anyone else excited about the Arizona fall league starting soon?

  4. Roger Moore - Aug 29, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    It’s not just the speed. His OBP is almost .100 higher than his BA, which shows he knows his way around the strike zone. Sure, he’s not going to keep the .418 OBA in the show, but he’s probably capable of being an above average on base hitter today.

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