The Amazing Billy Hamilton
Plenty will be written about Reds prospect Billy Hamilton, now and in the future. He is, after all, heading to the All-Star Futures Game, where he’ll be able to show off his speed on a national stage. The crazy thing is, there’s a good chance he’ll have over 100 stolen bases before he gets to Kansas City.
Heading into tonight (June 28), Hamilton had 94 stolen bases. That’s right, 94. He’d been caught 19 times. That’s a success rate of 83.2 percent. He’s gone 21-for-24 in last 10 games and has 37 steals in June.
Not that perspective is needed, considering when he topped 100 steals in 2011 at the end of the year, it was such a huge deal because it hadn’t been done in a while. Now he’s going to get there by the All-Star break? Insane.
To provide some perspective anyway, the Miami Marlins currently lead the Majors in stolen bases for a team… with 67 steals. In 2011, 10 MLB teams had as many or fewer steals for the entire year as Hamilton currently has in 2012.
Currently, the top 4 basestealers in MLB combined have 89 steals. In the Minors, Deline DeShields Jr. has 54 steals in 61 attempts, which normally would attract a good amount of attention. However, the Astros’ prospect, while in 2nd place in the Minors, is 40 behind Hamilton.
Rickey Henderson stole 130 bases in 1982, the modern-day record. In 1887, Hugh Nicol stole 138 as part of the, you guessed it, Cincinnati Red Stockings. If Hamilton wants to set his sights on some Minor League marks, Vince Coleman stole 145 bases in the South Atlantic League in 1983 and Donell Nixon had 144 in the California League (Hamilton’s current circuit), also in 1983 (boy that must’ve been a fun race to watch).