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Billy Hamilton: “It’s fun being fast”

Jun 4, 2014, 8:55 AM EST

Billy Hamilton Getty Images

“It’s fun being fast.”

That’s the quote of the night as far as I’m concerned. That’s how Billy Hamilton described his disrupting of Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants on the basepaths en route to a Reds win.

Hamilton reached second base in the first inning and his presence and reputation clearly affected the Giants. As C. Trent Rosecrans’ game story explains, the Giants’ infielders were focusing a bit more than usual on who was covering second. Tim Lincecum was clearly thinking about Hamilton too. His pickoff throw sailed into the outfield and Hamilton scored, kicking off a four-run innings for the Reds.

Hamilton reached again in the fifth thanks to an infield single. He stole second, Hector Sanchez‘s throw went into the outfield and Hamilton stole third and then came home to score on a Brandon Phillips double. After the game Lincecum said that Hamilton “flustered” him.

Oh, Hamilton also ran down a gapper by Pablo Sandoval in the third inning, turning what could have been extra bases into a sac fly.

Speed kills, y’all.

  1. aceshigh11 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:41 AM

  2. sportsnut1197 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    The kid is scary fast and has improved every game. Hope he contines and will be here for years.

  3. paco53 - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    It is fun watching Billy Hamilton run the bases and the outfield. He clearly changes how teams approach their games.

    I think it is really significant that Yadier Molina, the best catcher in baseball, did not attempt a throw on 2 of Hamilton’s steals. Last night, errant throws gave Hamilton extra bases. I suspect that more catchers will put the ball in their pockets rather than risk an throwing error.

  4. stlouis1baseball - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    The kid gets me fired up! Very exciting. I too hope he continues to improve and stays in Cincinnati.
    I look forward to the Cardinals having to deal with him for years. It only helps the Central as far as I am concerned.

  5. sleepyirv - Jun 4, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    I hope Billy Hamilton keeps building on his success (certainly makes baseball more fun) but it seems to me Dee Gordon is the one having the season on the bases everyone expected Hamilton to have.

    • yahmule - Jun 4, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      Unfortunately, Dee has slowed down quite bit. He’s batting .171 in his last 20 games. I expect Alexander Guerrero to get a lot of playing time when his ear heals up.

    • section138 - Jun 4, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      If you’re just taking about straight steals-of-bases, than Dee gets the nod, sure. BUT… Gordon has also had 33 more stolen base opportunities in which he has taken his 12 more than Hamilton. Hamilton leads Gordon in a lot of other base running stats, including bases taken (7 to 2), extra bases taken % (64% to 50%) and has made less outs on base than Gordon (1 vs. 3). Billy Hamilton is quite clearly a huge menace on the base paths.

  6. ptfu - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    The disruption this kid causes on the bases reminds me of Rickey Henderson. Throw off the pitcher, catcher, and the whole defense. I’d love to see the numbers of the following hitters when Hamilton’s on base vs when anyone else is on. Then I’d do the same for Rickey, and see how they compare.

  7. gatorprof - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    Can’t steal first. World class speed + .293 OBP + Lead-off man = joke.

    • gatorprof - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      Must be a lot of Red’s fans on this site.

      Sorry, but in a limited sample size, he just isn’t that good of a player.

      To compare him to Henderson is a joke, plain and simple. Ricky was a career .401 OBP guy over a 25 year career. You have to be on base to be disruptive.

      For all that speed, he is successful only 76% of the time. Sounds good, until you realize that is the 2nd worst success rate of the top 12 SB leaders this season.

      Billy’s numbers are 22/6 (SB/CS), Gordon’s are 34/3, Altuve’s are 20/3, Young’s 17/1, etc.

      You get the picture. He may mature as a player, but speed alone isn’t making him special at the moment. He needs more plate discipline as all the speed in the world doesn’t matter when you cannot get on base. A sub .300 OBP is a joke for a lead-off guy.

  8. superpriebe - Jun 4, 2014 at 12:45 PM

  9. musketmaniac - Jun 4, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    It’s simple whoever steals the most wins. please no more Ricky Henderson comparisons. Hamilton is probably faster than Ricky. but there is no reason to compare ByHn to RyHn.

    • moogro - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      ByHn to RyHn. Uh, no.

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