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Billy Hamilton is the youngest player with 50 steals since 2007

Aug 28, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

Billy Hamilton Getty Images

Reds rookie Billy Hamilton stole his 50th base of the season last night and in doing so the 23-year-old center fielder became the youngest player to reach 50 steals since Hanley Ramirez in 2007.

Here’s a complete list of the 23-and-under players with 50-plus steals in the past 20 years:

BILLY HAMILTON    2014   50
Hanley Ramirez    2007   51
Hanley Ramirez    2006   51
Jose Reyes        2006   64
Jose Reyes        2005   60
Carl Crawford     2004   59
Carl Crawford     2003   55
Luis Castillo     1999   51

Also of note: Hamilton is the first rookie with 50 steals in a season since Jacoby Ellsbury in 2008 and before that Ramirez in 2006.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering: All-time stolen base king Rickey Henderson had 319 career steals through age 23, including 130 in his age-23 season.

  1. SocraticGadfly - Aug 28, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    Or, put another way:

    “Billy Hamilton is the youngest person to 50 steals since addressing the roiding problem reduced 60-HR seasons.”

    • maddog11896 - Aug 28, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      ……….I’m still contemplating what this exactly means

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 28, 2014 at 3:06 PM

        I mean that, theoretically, without taters, SBs get valued more.

  2. sawxalicious - Aug 28, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Great for Billy Hamilton, but this does not seem that uncommon. Young players with speed are expected to steal bases….

    • kiwicricket - Aug 28, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      5 guys have done it in the last 20 yrs….yeah, it’s uncommon.

  3. jarathen - Aug 28, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Really makes you appreciate Rickey. What a beast.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 28, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      But can one appreciate Ricky more than Ricky appreciates Ricky?

  4. stabonerichard - Aug 28, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Billy is fun to watch but worth noting he’s been gunned down more than 1 out of every 4 times he takes off, which is the highest CS% among the guys listed in the article.

    And yeah, Rickey was a beast who ran wild, on greenlight mode at virtually all times. The year he stole 130 bases he was caught another 42 times… in other words, 172 stolen base attempts in a single season. Pretty wild.

    And Tim Raines, who as a 21-yr-old played in only 88 games yet still managed to rack up 71 steals. Thru age 27 he swiped over 500 bases while being caught on less than 13% of his attempts. That coked-up SOB was remarkably efficient at reaching base and then further advancing himself around the diamond.

    • happytwinsfan - Aug 28, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      I think I remembering reading a Bill James analysis which concluded that if a base runner is successful 6/7 attempts his overall contribution to the team’s chances of winning was about break even. Even if I’m remembering it right that was a lot of years ago.

      any stats folks here who know what the real ratio is thought to be?

    • happytwinsfan - Aug 28, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      I just did a quick look and seems that the overall break even point is between 70-75%, although the it changes significantly by different game / inning situations. Looks like Hamilton is at about the break even point

    • contraryguy - Aug 28, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      yeah his CS% is high but consider the Reds coaching staff this year: they’re horrible, especially the 3rd base coach. Reds are in MLB top 5 for Outs on Base so far this year (including #1 in being thrown out at home). When Billy gets better steal signs, and maybe a bit more tutoring by people who understand that phase of the game, he’ll be better at it.

  5. shaggylocks - Aug 28, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    At first I totally thought you were exaggerating Rickey Henderson’s numbers for comedic effect. Nope, that guy was unreal.

  6. buccan33rz1976 - Aug 28, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    Vince Coleman ……1985

  7. txspartan95 - Aug 28, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    If he learned how to steal 1st base, he’d have 100 stolen bases…

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