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:

I’m no scout. But I’ve watched a ton of baseball over the years. And, after seeing about four innings of Billy Hamilton at shortstop, I’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 today’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.