06 July 2012
Hamilton plays for the California League Bakersfield Blaze, a more apropos team moniker I couldn't think of. The Blaze are part of the Cincinnati Reds farm system. If you read my previous article, you know all about Hamilton's stint with my hometown team the Billings Mustangs. He was fast then too. It seems he has gotten even faster.
Billy has amassed an almost unbelievable stolen base total as of this point in the season. He is now at 103 bases. Well on track to break the All-Time minor league stolen base record if he stays healthy and the stealing keeps up at this same pace. He doesn't generally steal A base, he steals multiple bases in the same at bat usually.
Hamilton was asked recently about his 40 yard dash time. He said that running the 40 was a very different situation for him and that his time would probably not be as fast as his base stealing times. He said that he is an "game situation" runner. To me that means he is in the game, that adrenaline is flowing and he is fully concentrated on the next base. All he wants is to get to the next base before the baseball does. And he does it consistently and with screaming fast times.
Fans won't have to wait for him to be promoted, which he certainly will be, to see him in action. He will be playing in Sunday's Futures game at the All-Star game. That game will be televised on ESPN 2 on Sunday July 8 at 5pm ET. Hamilton will be playing and fans can see for themselves his speed in action.
Along with his 103 stolen bases, Hamilton is batting .326 with 108 hits and 30 RBIs. The question is not if he will be promoted but when. The Reds remain noncommittal on the question saying only that they expect that he will be promoted and possibly even this season. The Louisville Bats team has suffered some injuries this season and are a bit short-handed at present. Hamilton could certainly fill a spot there.
For now though, the concentration on if and when he breaks the steals record. I think that just like his promotion chances, it's not IF but WHEN he breaks it. Run Billy run!