Unlike nearly any other sport, an individual baseball game can be broken down into individual moments, isolated from some events during the game and connected with others.
On the offensive side of the game, two outcomes stand out above all others: home runs and stolen bases. This week the Cincinnati Reds called up Billy Hamilton to much fanfare.
Hamilton was Keith Law’s 30th ranked prospect this spring but failed to crack his midseason Top 50. So why are people excited? Because, without exaggeration, Hamilton has game-changing speed.
Sharing his name with a Hall of Famer who had four 100 steal seasons, the Cincinnati Reds incarnation of Billy Hamilton might just be the fastest player in a baseball uniform anywhere.
In his first full minor league season in 2011, with the Midwest League Dayton Dragons, Hamilton stole 103 bases in 135 games. He followed this up with 155 steals over two levels in 2012, including stealing 51 bases in 50 games at Double A against more advanced compe...