Billy Hamilton showed off the full array of his speed-based superpowers on Saturday
We all know Billy Hamilton is fast. Academically, we can understand his blazing speed on the bases and the field. But baseball isn't always great about letting a player show off his speed.
Facing the Giants on Saturday night, Billy Hamilton was given a starring role. It was Hamilton as the Flash in a CW season finale.
In his first at-bat, Hamilton laced a triple. For another hitter, there may have been a play at third base. For Hamilton, it was a stroll in the park -- a stroll that just so happened to be the second-fastest in Statcast history, coming in at a mere 10.58 seconds. Naturally, Hamilton owns the record with a 10.45 second three-bagger that he hit on Aug. 31, 2016.
In the top of the second, he raced back and leaped to rob Eduardo Nunez of extra bases. While a deep fly to the warning track may not be the most difficult of catches, Hamilton plays the most shallow defense in Major League Baseball. Which meant he ran 96.9 feet to limit the drive to a mere sacrifice fly:
In the bottom half of the inning, he showed off his pace once again. With runners on second and third, Hamilton hit a single to left field. Or, I should say, a single for mere mortals. Hamilton turned on the burners and wound up at second base. Naturally, this one was record-breaking. The scarlet speedster went from home-to-second in 7.19 seconds -- good for the fastest double in the Statcast-era. It broke Kevin Kiermaier's mark of 7.26 that was set on June 24, 2015.
One pitch later, and before anyone could catch their breath, Hamilton swiped third.
It made Reds manager Bryan Price look like a psychic. Before the game, the Reds skipper told MLB.com's Andrew Call, "It's an impact on our offense when he's on base, no doubt about it. He's a distraction to the pitcher -- not just at first base, but at second base as well. It opens up holes for our offense due to the need to keep the middle infielders close to the bag at second base to keep him close."
In just two innings, Hamilton showed off everything a human could do with this kind of game-changing speed. So, when he singled in his next at-bat and didn't need to race around the bases, it was surely a welcome respite for the Giants fielders, if nothing else.
Of course, this is nothing new for the center fielder. The night before in the Reds' 13-3 victory, the outfielder hit a triple, drove in two and stole two more bases.
All that's left for the center fielder is an inside-the-park home run. To that, he could only say, "I'll get one one of these days."