Cincinnati Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton stole four bases Wednesday night. He is the only player in the live ball era to accomplish the feat in his first major league start. Welcome to the big show, kid.
Hamilton was selected by the Reds in the second round of the 2009 draft at just 19-years-old. By 2011, he was ranked as the 50th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America. He finished that season in the minor leagues with 103 stolen bases and.278 batting average.
Then, in 2012, Hamilton did something ridiculous. Still the in minors, he stole a record 155 bases while hitting.311.
To recap quickly, the kid is fast. Usain Bolt fast.
In 2013, Hamilton regressed. In 123 games he hit.256 and only stole 73 bases. It didn’t matter though. With the Reds in the middle of a playoff chase, they called him up on September second. Hamilton’s main job would be to pinch run. Hamilton would add speed on the base paths to create more runs.
The Reds plan with Billy Hamilton worked. His first major league action came on September third. He was put in to pinch run for Ryan Ludwick. Hamilton quickly stole second, then came home to score on Todd Frazier’s double.
Hamilton was used as a pinch runner in four more games. Then, on September 10, he was brought in to replace Shin-Soo Choo in a 9-1 loss.
Hamilton still hadn’t started a game. He finally got his chance last night, and it’s fair to say He made the most of his opportunity. In six plate appearances he had three hits and two walks. Impressive.
Of course, more impressive was the four bases he stole. Now Hamilton stands alone in the record books. Oh yeah, and It only took him one start. Who knows what else this kid can do!
Are you impressed with Billy Hamilton’s first start? Will he help the Reds make the playoffs?
[image via Wikimedia Commons]