HOUSTON -- Billy Hamilton made the most of the spacious outfield at Minute Maid Park this weekend.One day after an electrifying sliding catch at the wall, the Reds center fielder followed that up with a diving snag on Jose Altuve's one-out slicing liner to deep right-center field in the fifth
HOUSTON -- Billy Hamilton made the most of the spacious outfield at Minute Maid Park this weekend.
One day after an electrifying sliding catch at the wall, the Reds center fielder followed that up with a diving snag on Jose Altuve's one-out slicing liner to deep right-center field in the fifth inning of Sunday's 6-0 loss to the Astros. Hamilton immediately popped back up and threw to Brandon Phillips, whose relay throw beat Marwin Gonzalez back to the first-base bag for an 8-4-3 double play.
"I came up, and my job was to get it in as fast as I can," Hamilton said. "Saw the guy coming back around second, knew I couldn't get it all the way in and put it in the air, and Brandon picked me up with his strong arm to first."
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According to Statcast™, Hamilton reached a max speed of 20.6 mph, covering 96 feet with a route efficiency of 98 percent, while his first step was clocked at 0.03 seconds. Those metrics were all better than Saturday's similarly spectacular catch.
Even though Hamilton's catch and throw ended Houston's at-bat, it couldn't prevent a run from scoring. George Springer, tagging from third, barely crossed the plate prior to the ball reaching Joey Votto's glove at first.
Still, it was another highlight-reel moment for Hamilton, who has firmly established himself among the elite defensive center fielders in all of baseball.
"If there is a better [one]," I haven't seen him," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "There's a lot of teams in the American League that might say they have a better one, even some people here. This outfield here in Houston is sensational, but as far as a single outfielder playing one position, probably not.
"He covers so much ground and catches everything he gets to. He's fearless at the wall, coming in, going back and side to side. He's doing some special things out there."
Hamilton said it's just the only way he knows how to play center, with a ruthless focus and prodigious speed.
"I wasn't even thinking about the concussion," said Hamilton, only days removed from the seven-day concussion disabled list. "Once you're on the field, you play as hard as you always would, and I was focused on getting to the ball and where the wall was."
He didn't have to collide with the wall this time, but he still got two outs for this diving effort.
Chris Abshire is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Reds on Sunday.