HOUSTON -- Billy Hamilton didn't wait long to prove he's not playing with fear despite returning to action from the 7-day concussion disabled list this weekend.
The Reds center fielder ran a long way to make a ridiculous sliding catch up against the base of the Astros' bullpen wall in right-center field during the second inning of Saturday's 5-4 loss to Houston at Minute Maid Park.
"He's an instinctive player," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It's the way he plays. It's an aggressive play. I don't know if he knows any other way to play it."
According to Statcast™, Hamilton reached a max speed of 20.4 mph and had a route efficiency of 97.8 percent, while his first step was clocked at 0.1 seconds. The exit velocity off the bat of Jake Marisnick was measured at 102 mph, and similar batted balls have posted a batting average of .889.
It all made for one of Hamilton's great highlights in a short career full of them. Price said he didn't even know where to rank the play.
"I'd have to go back to the highlight reel to list them one through 10, or 15 or 20," Price said. "That was right up there. It's a lot of ground to cover for anybody, and he covers it as well as anyone."
With the Reds already trailing, 2-0, thanks to Marwin Gonzalez's first-inning homer, Hamilton's play kept Cody Reed's Major League debut from coming unhinged.
With a man on third and two outs, Marisnick sliced a high-arching liner that was tailing away from Hamilton and looked destined to fall in for an RBI extra-base hit.
Hamilton slid into the wall as he corralled the ball, shielding his head from the wall but not shying away from contact. He came up slightly wincing, but he showed no immediate signs of injury after the catch.
The play was still an obvious cause for worry in the Cincinnati dugout, given Hamilton's thumb and head injuries this season.
"Certainly, I was concerned when he made contact with the outfield wall," Price said. "He popped up and let us know he was OK. Just another highlight moment and a great catch."