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Hamilton could add speed in September

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Reds manager Dusty Baker has spent time the past couple of days talking with his coaching staff and general manager Walt Jocketty about what moves to make when rosters can expand on Sept. 1. With callups on the horizon, Baker said the Reds have to decide which players will fit and who will be able to fill roles as pinch-hitters and pinch-runners.

The latter certainly could be an opportunity for the club's No. 1 prospect and speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton, but it wouldn't be the only thing expected of the 22-year-old if he were in fact called up.

Full Game Coverage

CINCINNATI -- Reds manager Dusty Baker has spent time the past couple of days talking with his coaching staff and general manager Walt Jocketty about what moves to make when rosters can expand on Sept. 1. With callups on the horizon, Baker said the Reds have to decide which players will fit and who will be able to fill roles as pinch-hitters and pinch-runners.

The latter certainly could be an opportunity for the club's No. 1 prospect and speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton, but it wouldn't be the only thing expected of the 22-year-old if he were in fact called up.

Full Game Coverage

"I hope he'll be able to do a little more than that," Baker said of Hamilton, who is not currently on the 40-man roster. "Even though it's no time to experiment when going for the pennant."

Through 114 games for Triple-A Louisville entering Wednesday, Hamilton owned a .259/.312/.349 line to go with six homers and 40 RBIs. One year after setting professional baseball's single-season record with 155 steals between Class A Advanced Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola, Hamilton had swiped 72 bases on 86 attempts for Louisville.

"It's taken him a little to adjust to some of the pickoffs and some of the baserunning stuff that you need to learn to win. That's what I've been told," Baker said. "Speed is great. Speed kills, but speed also kills you if it's out of control."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

 

Cincinnati Reds, Billy Hamilton