This has been the year of the rookie. Superstar youngsters like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Manny Machado have all stepped into prominent roles for their respective teams. Trout is even in the MVP discussion this year, leading the AL in batting average, and pushing the Angels towards the playoffs.
All the successes of these players, among others, are prompting everyone else to look to their top prospects for help.
The Cincinnati Reds are one of those teams.
Statistically speaking the Reds have been atrocious at the leadoff position all year. Placing at the bottom or close to it in every major hitting category from the leadoff, Cincinnati needs some help at the position.
Barring an unfathomable improvement by Drew Stubbs or Zack Cozart the Reds are left with two options, Brandon Phillips or Billy Hamilton.
Currently batting cleanup, Phillips is naturally more of a leadoff hitter. But with the recent extension of Joey Votto’s DL stint it doesn’t look like Phillips will be going anywhere. So that just leaves Billy Hamilton.
Known for his ridiculous speed, Hamilton has been tearing it up in the minors this year. Currently with a .315 average and .412 OBP his numbers speak for themselves. Most impressive though is his uncanny ability to steal bases.
With still more than a month left in the minor league season Hamilton has already accrued 139 steals. The current record in a season in the minors is 144. At his current pace the record will be shattered and his names will be recorded in the history books.
Unless the Reds call him up.
Such rumors have been swirling over the past couple weeks. Although nothing is set in stone, it is looking more and more likely that Hamilton will be called up.
Sure there are some logistical details to iron out. The Reds already have an established infield so where he can play in the field will be a question. But that bridge will be crossed when they come to it.
For now though things seem clear. Cincinnati needs to call him up to the big leagues and bolster the one real weak spot in their lineup. Although they already have a solid grip on a playoff berth, any help is gladly accepted.