Billy Hamilton – OF – Reds
The 23-year-old switch-hitter will likely take over center field for former starter Shin-Soo Choo who was signed by the Texas Rangers in the off season. Hamilton plays a pretty good and an improving defense in center field where his speed serves him well, but he played shortstop in the minor leagues, so if he doesn’t win the starting center field job he could see plenty of starting time as a utility infielder and outfielder.
Hamilton is all about one category and that is stolen bases. He has played in the minors since age 18 (5 years) and has stolen an incredible 395 bases with 2258 at bats. In 2013 AAA Louisville, he stole 75 of 90 bases, in addition he batted .256 and hit 6 home runs. His lifetime minor league batting average is .280, so there Hamilton does have the potential to hit close to .300 as a major leaguer. In 2012, Hamilton played in A and AA and batted a combined .311 and stole 155 bases. That is not a mistake, yes 155 stolen bases in 2012. Finally, we did get a tiny sample of Hamilton in the Bigs last year when he went 7 of 19 (.368) and stole 13 out of 14 bases.
The fact is, if he gets on base, he can steal bases at any level. If Hamilton could bat any where close to the .300 mark, his stolen base numbers could enter the realm of Vince Coleman and the century mark, which hasn’t been done since 1987 and you would get great odds if betting online at williamhill.com for that. Of course, Vince Coleman wasn’t around for the days of fantasy baseball, but even if you think about the fantasy greats of stolen bases, Jacoby Ellsbury’s 70 in 2009 or Juan Pierre’s 68 in 2010, or Michael Bourn’s 61 in 2011.
The bottom line is a player like Billy Hamilton could single-handedly win you the stolen base category in a roto-league and help you in any league that gives points for stolen bases.
.274 – 3 HR – 65 SB – 46 RBI – 88 Runs