Posted: Jul 8, 2012 5:14 PM by Dan Cimmino - Q2 Sports
Updated: Jul 9, 2012 11:52 AM
BILLINGS - Former Billings Mustang Billy Hamilton is literally flying up the ranks through the Cincinnati Reds organization.
You may remember the old number 4 batting leadoff for the Ponies back in 2010. The unquestioned fan favorite had a solid campaign that year batting .318 scoring 61 times with 48 stolen bases to go along with a countless amount of sparkling defensive plays.
That season we saw a glimpse of someone who could potentially turn out to be a very good leadoff prospect. Since his time in Billings, Hamilton has now garnered comparisons as the next Ricky Henderson, the greatest leadoff hitter of all time.
His recent numbers on the base paths certainly warrant the honor.
Last year in Dayton, Hamilton swiped 103 bags in 135 games, easily the most in professional baseball. This year in Bakersfield, Hamilton has already bested last season's mark with 104 steals in just 82 games. The unprecedented pace has since prompted a promotion to Double A where he'll play in Pensacola.
We know how baseball loves their scouts, and boy do the scouts love them some Billy Hamilton. Countless blogs and reports from top baseball evaluators are everywhere on the internet gushing over Hamilton's speed.
Currently hitting .323 with a .413 on-base percentage, the 21 year old from Taylorsville, Mississippi can't seem to get to the big leagues soon enough. And to think, as Billy told us two years ago, he almost decided to play football instead.
"Yeah man, it was a hard decision. Football was one of the other sports I liked and was offered a scholarship so I was really thinking about playing" Hamilton explaining his full ride offer from Mississippi State University.
His parents, on the other hand, didn't think football was such a good idea, "They were always telling me I was too small for football, but I don't know, I'm pretty fast so I thought a little different... But I chose baseball that was the right decision."
At this rate, it's only a matter of time before Billy gets on the big league roster and just like how he gets to 2nd base, he'll be there before you know it.