Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton still can’t really hit, but it’s moments like this one from yesterday’s game against the Phillies that make keeping him in the lineup worth it.
With two outs in the bottom of the second inning, Hamilton singled to right. He proceeded to steal second base, easily nab third base, and then sprint home to snatch up a run while Carlos Ruiz lazily threw the ball to first, thinking that Brandon Phillips was trying to reach on a dropped third strike. Hamilton’s speed may take a little bit longer to produce a run than a Giancarlo Stanton homer, but not many guys get their team a run off nothing more than a two-out single and a walk.
The one area of his game where Hamilton is improving is stealing bases. He was caught stealing 23 times last year, more than any other player in the league, but he’s only been caught four times so far this season, bumping his success rate from 71 percent to 86 percent. If he can get his embarrassing .264 on-base percentage back up to his still-embarrassing .292 from 2014, he might have a shot at stealing 100 bases.