Billy Hamilton's extraordinary speed -- in the outfield, on the basepaths, everywhere -- is nothing new, but he still keeps finding new ways to showcase how amazing it is.In the span of two innings Saturday night, during the Reds' 14-2 win over the Giants, Hamilton sprinted his way to the
Billy Hamilton's extraordinary speed -- in the outfield, on the basepaths, everywhere -- is nothing new, but he still keeps finding new ways to showcase how amazing it is.
In the span of two innings Saturday night, during the Reds' 14-2 win over the Giants, Hamilton sprinted his way to the fastest triple of the 2017 season -- and the second-fastest of the Statcast™ era -- then shattered the Statcast-era record for the fastest double. He finished 3-for-6 with two RBIs and a home run shy of the cycle.
Leading off the bottom of the first, Hamilton slashed a Ty Blach two-seamer down the right-field line, and he was off. Only 10.58 seconds later, he was on third base. According to Statcast™, that home-to-third time gave him the fastest triple of the year, surpassing the Twins' Byron Buxton's 10.73-second three-bagger on Wednesday.
Not only that, there had been only one faster triple ever tracked by Statcast™. It should come as no surprise that the record triple also belongs to Hamilton -- he got to third in a blistering 10.45 seconds on Aug. 13 of last season against the Brewers.
Hamilton wasn't nearly finished Saturday. In the top of the next inning, the center fielder made a tremendous leaping catch at the wall with the bases loaded, taking an extra-base hit away from Eduardo Nunez.
And then Hamilton came to the plate again in the bottom half. This at-bat, Hamilton laced a hit just left of center field. For most Major Leaguers, it would have been a single. Hamilton is not most Major Leaguers.
Never breaking stride, Hamilton dived into second base ahead of the tag, turning a single into a double. But not just any double -- the fastest double since Statcast™ started tracking baserunning times at the beginning of 2015. Hamilton made it to second base in just 7.19 seconds.
The previous fastest double belonged to Kevin Kiermaier, who went home-to-second in 7.26 seconds on June 24, 2015. Hamilton's previous fastest double was 7.33 seconds, on May 2, 2015, which is still the third-fastest double overall, behind his newest record-setter and Kiermaier's previous one.
That 7.33-second double Hamilton hit two seasons ago? Also against the Giants. And on a similar play -- a line drive left of center field, where Hamilton's hustle and speed got him cleanly into second base on what might be a single for another hitter.
For what it's worth, Hamilton had one more speed feat on Saturday. Not content with leaving third base open in front of him after his double, Hamilton promptly stole it, his 19th stolen base of the season.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.