For the last couple of months, Reds farmhand Billy Hamilton has been getting a lot of love from the various prospect rankings. Yesterday, John Fay has professed his undying love for the young shortstop:
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m no scout. But IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve watched a ton of baseball over the years. And, after seeing about four innings of Billy Hamilton at shortstop, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m ready to declare this kid as the player to watch in the Reds system. His range is unbelievable. He got to a line drive about 15 feet behind second base Tuesday and threw out the runner trying to go from first to third.
Today, he snagged a drive up the middle that he appeared to have no chance. Earlier in todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s game, he fielded a ball in the hole and let fly to first. The ball got there on a line with some velocity behind it.
I was also impressed that he walked in his first plate appearance in a big league spring game. The urge to swing in such situations can be overwhelming.
I love the comment about range, especially when we’ve been told numerous times over the last three years (not necessarily by Fay) that range isn’t that important in a shortstop (see Gonzalez, Alex; Cabrera, Orlando).
I’ve only seen one Hamilton AB, which was the walk referenced above. My initial reaction was: this is the smallest guy I’ve ever seen on a baseball field. I look forward to watching him more closely in the future. If Hamilton can hit, he should be awfully good.
ETA: September 2012.