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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Billy Hamilton breaks SB record

With his 146th stolen base of the season on Tuesday night, Reds prospect Billy Hamilton passed former Major Leaguer Vince Coleman’s pro baseball single-season record, which was set in 1983.

Hamilton, 21, is Cincinnati’s No. 1 prospect, according to MLB.com and has spent the season with Class A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola. Hamilton had nearly as many stolen bases (146) as hits (150) as of the fourth inning of the first game of Pensacola’s doubleheader Tuesday against Montgomery.

In Game 1, Hamilton stole three bases after reaching in his first two at-bats. He walked in the bottom of the first and stole second base, then singled in the bottom of the third and stole second and third.

Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:36 PM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, reds

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   1. RollingWave Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:05 AM (#4214461)
wow! could we really see a 100 base stealer in the majors again? that would be a huge surprise.
   2. puck Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:06 AM (#4214462)
The writeup at MILB.com is pretty good:

Hamilton has stolen at least one base in 86 of 120 games across two levels. He's recorded 41 multi-steal games, including nine three-steal performances and four four-steal outings. He set a career high with five stolen bases in Bakersfield's 7-6 win over Lake Elsinore on June 16.

To put Hamilton's feat another way, if he were his own team, he would have more steals than 171 of the 190 teams in pro baseball between the Major and Minor Leagues.


   3. Monty Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4214476)
I don't care how important stolen bases are in terms of winning games. I think this is neat.
   4. jingoist Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:51 AM (#4214481)
No relation to "Sliding Billy" I imagine.

Certainly sounds like either his mama knew he'd be a fast ballplayer shortly after he was born and took a hunch when she named him or it's just a monumental coincidence........

Or maybe the entire BTF universe knows the facts, and, as usual, I'm a bit slow out of the paddock.
   5. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:31 AM (#4214487)
I don't care how important stolen bases are in terms of winning games. I think this is neat.

This

Baseball should be fun, first and foremost. Hamilton is fun to watch and fun to read about. Guys like this are always good for the game.
   6. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:58 AM (#4214490)
I don't care how important stolen bases are in terms of winning games. I think this is neat.


But he's making a mockery of the game! A mockery I said!
   7. Cooper Nielson Posted: August 22, 2012 at 07:40 AM (#4214509)
I've been following Billy Hamilton for a few months now, and it seems he could easily become the next Vince Coleman (guy who steals a ton of bases but doesn't add much else, stays in the majors for a dozen years but is never really a star).

The question is, what is the likelihood that he becomes something MORE than that? What's his legitimate upside?

I assume he won't last at shortstop (I've never seen him play, but those error totals are pretty high) but outfield shouldn't be a tough conversion. He's maintained a .300+ average and .400+ OBP at both A and AA. That sounds pretty good, but Vince Coleman ALSO had a .400+ OBP at the same age at the same level, and he only managed a .324 OBP in his major-league career.

Like Coleman, Hamilton doesn't have much power (7 HR in 1468 AB, and I bet at least half of those are inside-the-parkers) but he does seem to hit more doubles than Coleman did, so maybe he'll add power when he gets older.

For those of you who have seen him play, does he have any realistic potential to become a Tim Raines? Or is he more of a Coleman/Moreno/Nixon? (Or should he be happy to even be in that group?)
   8. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 22, 2012 at 07:44 AM (#4214510)
No relation to "Sliding Billy" I imagine.
Nope, this Billy Hamilton's family wouldn't have been allowed to play in the major leagues 110 years ago.
   9. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:03 AM (#4214511)
tim raines? very unlikely. kenny lofton? also unlikely. i think a .350ish obp and .350ish slugging is about right. say juan pierre in his good seasons with more speed?
   10. bunyon Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:07 AM (#4214513)
Juan Pierre but with 100-110 steals would be nothing to scoff at.
   11. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:17 AM (#4214517)
Especially a 100-110' steal Juan Pierre who could play middle infield. From what I read Hamilon is very athletic and can make some spectacular plays at short but has trouble with his throws. Nobody seems to think he'll stick at SS but commentators are split over whether the Reds will try him at second or move him to CF, where his speed gives him the potential to be a ++ defender.
   12. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:21 AM (#4214519)
brandon phillips isn't going anywhere and cozart hasn't killed his chances of keeping a job.

drew stubbs has been a bit of a disappointment so that is the likeliest option unless stubbs somehow picks up the pace.

even so hamilton has time because the reds lineup isn't changing that much after such a successful 2012. hamilton is certainly going to be in the minors in 2013 until injury requires a change of address
   13. TomH Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:32 AM (#4214526)
Vince Coleman really seems like THE most obvious comp. Vince is so obviously the best basestealer in MLB history; unfortunately for him, he did nor reach base often enough to hold the 'most steals' record. Reaching base more times is a key to holding a MLB job, as well specific opportunities to steal.

player .... H+W . SB . CS SB_per_(H+W)
Henderson 5245 1406 335 -- 0.268
V Coleman 1902 . 752 177 -- 0.395
   14. GregD Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4214548)
Nope, this Billy Hamilton's family wouldn't have been allowed to play in the major leagues 110 years ago.
I assume you're right about the lack of relationship; Hamilton is a common name. But obviously there are a reasonably large number of "black" people who have a "white" ancestor born in the 1860s.
   15. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4214551)
But obviously there are a reasonably large number of "black" people who have a "white" ancestor born in the 1860s.
Sure, yeah, I had that thought too. That was more an educated guess than a statement of fact.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4214554)
Nobody seems to think he'll stick at SS but commentators are split over whether the Reds will try him at second or move him to CF, where his speed gives him the potential to be a ++ defender.


2B would be more valuable I would guess, but you don't want baserunners barrelling in on his legs, his main asset.
   17. Cooper Nielson Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4214565)
Juan Pierre but with 100-110 steals would be nothing to scoff at.

Even the Juan Pierre we actually got has probably been over-scoffed at by Primate types (myself included).

He's basically been an "average" player over a 13-season career. (I don't really understand BBRef's 162WL%, but Pierre's just a hair under .500.) He's got 15 WAR in 13 years. (That's not so good, but it's more than, say, Larry Herndon -- and no one makes fun of Larry Herndon for sucking.) His OBP is right around league average. He's durable (9 years of 152+ games, including 5 years with 162). He's only 34 and already has 2117 hits. He's got some legitimate "black ink" (hits, stolen bases, triples). He's walked more than he's struck out (barely).

Yeah, yeah, he's also got all those caught stealings, and no power, and a weak arm, and he shouldn't have been batting leadoff so much. But he's given baseball everything he has, and he's willing to keep playing for relative pocket change ($800,000 this year).

If Billy Hamilton can look back 20 years from now and say he had "Juan Pierre's career" -- even without the 100 SB seasons -- I think he should feel pretty happy.
   18. Tricky Dick Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4214567)
Jim Deshais, who is an Astros broadcaster, made the suggested that the Reds should call up Hamilton and use him as a PH and PR through the end of the season. He made the point that a guy with Hamilton's ability on the bases could be a big weapon during the playoffs if he is brought into critical situations as a pinch runner.
   19. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4214577)
nobody asked me but i would really think about putting the kid in left field and let him focus on offense versus the added stress of defense and offense. if the reds are going to have him run wild that is a pretty high stress activity on the body. only the rickey was able to hold up over time and quite sensibly teams had him more often in left than center even though he was a very good centerfielder.

a leadoff man left fielder who keeps his obp above .350, steals 80-110 bases a year and scores 100 runs is pretty ok
   20. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4214582)
If Billy Hamilton can look back 20 years from now and say he had "Juan Pierre's career" -- even without the 100 SB seasons -- I think he should feel pretty happy.
Also, he'll probably be rich.
   21. OCF Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4214583)
...call up Hamilton and use him as a PH and PR through the end of the season

Tim Raines, 1979 (age 19): 6 games, 0 PA, 2 SB, 3 runs scored. A team could appreciate that.

In 1980, Raines hit .050/.269/.050 in 27 PA, but scored 6 runs anyway.
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4214589)
In other base-stealing news, Mike Trout's streak of consecutive successful attempts ended at 30 last night. It was a pitch-out, and the play was very close.
   23. asinwreck Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4214600)
nobody asked me but i would really think about putting the kid in left field and let him focus on offense versus the added stress of defense and offense.


HW proposes the Tim Raines path from infield to LF. Could well happen here.
   24. Gamingboy Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4214614)
The white Billy Hamilton is one of those HOF ballplayers who has just sort of been forgotten, despite the fact he's still third all-time in steals.

This Billy Hamilton, of course, needs to be called "Sliding Billy 2.0" or something.
   25. John DiFool2 Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4214647)
He won't, of course, since today's press doesn't want to give nicknames to players anymore, for some odd reason. Probably because said players tend to get irked on those rare occasions when they do. I mean seriously-what was the last great baseball nickname? Seems like most of them anymore come from teammates (I believe that's where "Big Papi" got his).
   26. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4214649)
This Billy Hamilton, of course, needs to be called "Sliding Billy 2.0" or something.

Swipin' Billy.
   27. Gamingboy Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4214654)
The last great media-given nickname was "Crime Dog" Fred McGriff. It was also the last time Chris Berman gave out a nickname that was good.
   28. SoSH U at work Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4214655)
I mean seriously-what was the last greatbaseball nickname?


The last great nicknamer in the media was Hawk Harrelson (Big Hurt, One Dog, etc.), though he doesn't even have that going for him now.

The last great baseball nickname? Pronk maybe (given by a teammate).

I hope this Billy Hamilton gets a nickname that alludes to the original, but is not a direct copy.

Edit: "Swiping" is the kind of thing that would work.

   29. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4214733)
The last great media-given nickname was "Crime Dog" Fred McGriff.

"The Big Hurt" was a media nickname, also. As is "King Felix."

Cory Lidle's "Death to Flying Things" never caught on.
   30. Clemenza Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4214769)
I mean seriously-what was the last greatbaseball nickname?


Oil Can
   31. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4214771)


The last great nicknamer in the media was Hawk Harrelson (Big Hurt, One Dog, etc.), though he doesn't even have that going for him now.


Dayan "Tank" Viciedo might disagree with you.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4214777)
Kung Fu Panda, or just Panda, is pretty good. And I like Joey Bats.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4214778)
Dayan "Tank" Viciedo might disagree with you.


I do like that one. It's the first hit Hawk has had in quite some time.
   34. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4214791)
Dayan "Tank" Viciedo might disagree with you.

I do like that one. It's the first hit Hawk has had in quite some time.

That's actually a nickname Ozzie bestowed upon him, comparing to Alexei Ramirez ("Missile").

Ozzie also called Viciedo the Cuban Pimp at one point. I kinda wish Hawk picked up on that one.
   35. Bourbon Samurai Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4214805)
I suggest "Billy the Bandit".

I do hope the Reds call him up this fall. He'd be great fun to see on the basepaths late in the game.
   36. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4214823)
It looks like he also took over the stolen base lead in the Southern League, so that he can lead two leagues in stolen bases in one year?

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