Billy’s Not the Kid
It’s been almost a decade since the Cincinnati Reds selected Billy Hamilton with their second round pick and Reds fans are STILL waiting for Hamilton to produce. As a Reds fan, I often catch myself groaning when Billy comes to the plate, especially with runners on. I almost feel like he’s a guaranteed out. There is nothing I can say about his defense. He is without a doubt one of the best center fielders in the league in terms of defense. What Reds fans aren’t seeing, is production at the plate.
Billy Hamilton was supposed to be the next Ricky Henderson. We saw this with his minor league career as he stole 396 bases. I could not wait for him to come up and continue his base running dominance in the majors. However, you have to be able to get on base to steal bases. Right now Hamilton is batting a measly .208. He was even bumped from his role of leadoff hitter to the number nine spot in the order, AFTER the pitcher. As a hitter, I’m sure there isn’t anything much more insulting than that.
At one time the Reds had the fastest throwing human on the planet, and the fastest player in baseball. Life was good but we weren’t winning games so trades had to be made. What I’m saying is that it’s time for Billy to be traded. There were rumors of him being traded to San Francisco before the year started and I wish it would’ve gone through. As much as Reds fans have enjoyed seeing Hamilton play for the last few years, it’s time for him to go and usher the new era of Reds outfielders in. Look for guys like Jesse Winker, Taylor Trammel, and Jose Siri to be the faces of the Reds outfield within the next few years.