Sunday, August 5th, 2012
Sam Evans: Double-A Pensacola shortstop Billy Hamilton is one of the best prospects in baseball. He might be the fastest player in baseball history, and the other areas of his game are steadily improving. Cincinnati is currently in first place in the N.L. Central, and according to Baseball Prospectus’ playoff odds, they have a 97.5% chance of reaching the playoffs. Due to Hamilton’s current level of readiness and potential impact, the effect he will have on fans, and Hamilton’s future development down the road, Cincinnati should not call up Billy Hamilton in 2012.
In eighty-two games in High-A Bakersfield this year, Billy Hamilton hit .323 with a .413 OBP and he stole 104 bases. However, Hamilton was playing in the offense-friendly Cal League, where the average hitter is hitting .273/.342/.424. The Reds eventually promoted Hamilton to Double-A Pensacola, where he has hit .282/.404/.405 with eighteen steals in twenty-two games. Hamilton’s numbers at both levels this year have been tremendous. Billy Hamilton is going to be a superstar, and he might pass Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, in terms of being the fan favorite in Cincy. However, that doesn’t mean he is ready to contribute right away. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday July 19th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: Carl Crawford undoubtedly has the potential to bring some extra oomph to the already powerful Red Sox lineup with his long-awaited return from the disabled list. Hopefully this Carl Crawford will be the guy the Red Sox hoped he would be when he signed with them. In his last year with Tampa Bay, he hit .307 with 19 homers and 90 RBIs, along with 47 stolen bases. Crawford is a .293 hitter over his career that started in 2002. This is what the Red Sox were hoping to get when they signed him in December of 2010 for a 7-year $142 million contract. So far, this contract has been a disaster. Last year, in his first year of the contract, Crawford hit a paltry .255—38 points less than his career average. Also, Crawford only played 130 games—which was rare for him, as he’s only played less than 140 games one other time (not including his rookie season).
So, what would happen if Crawford was back to his old self? With the return of Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox could easily shoot up to become one of the best offenses in the league. Pedroia is slated to return today, so a lineup including Ellsbury, Crawford, Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, and David Ortiz is most likely going to happen once Ortiz returns from the DL. Ortiz was placed on the DL with an Achilles injury after scoring on a home run. Once Ortiz is healthy, the Red Sox should be all set up for a big comeback down the stretch. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday, July 15th, 2012
Sam Evans: Dark shadows cast over a luminous sky at Municipal Stadium in San Jose, California. A crowd of just fewer than four thousand people bask in the early June sunlight, some of them unaware of the history they are about to witness. The San Jose Giants are hosting the Bakersfield Blaze, and Billy Hamilton is hitting leadoff for a Bakersfield team centered around their 5’11” 160 pound shortstop. Never before in professional baseball have we seen a player like Billy Hamilton.
Sunday May 13th, 2012
Sam Evans: Billy Hamilton is one of the most discussed players in the minor leagues. He might be the fastest player in baseball, but the rest of his game is far from finished. Reds fans probably won’t see Hamilton until at least late-2013, but he will be ready by that point to make an immediate impact in the majors. Let’s take a look at Hamilton’s tools and how they project in the future.
First of all, if you are unfamiliar with Billy Hamilton, then you’ve probably been hiding under a rock. If you are hiding under a rock, you should probably come out. Unless, of course, you have Bryce Harper’s haircut. Anyways, Billy Hamilton grew up in Mississippi and played football, basketball, and baseball in high school. Hamilton was drafted in the second round of the 2009 MLB Amateur draft by the Reds, and passed up a football scholarship to Mississippi State University. Hamilton stands six feet tall and weighs roughly 160 pounds. He is a switch-hitting shortstop who is currently playing for the Reds High-A affiliate, the Bakersfield Blaze. Read the rest of this entry