Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton suffered a thumb injury Tuesday and missed Wednesday’s game against the San Francisco Giants. However, he’s ready to return.

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Hamilton Active vs. Brewers

Thursday, May 5

The Reds announced Hamilton will be in center field and bat second against Milwaukee on Thursday.

Hamilton Still Shaky Offensive Option Despite Elite Speed

Hamilton has reached a point where his offense needs to show signs of life for the Reds to depend on him as an everyday player. He has gotten off to a slow start in 2016, hitting .215 with one home run, five RBI and five stolen bases. Disappointing numbers will only raise more questions about his ability to be in the lineup 150 times a year. 

The 25-year-old has game-changing speed, as evidenced by his 113 stolen bases from 2014 and 2015, and he’s an outstanding defensive center fielder with 26 career runs saved. By comparison, no other center fielder with at least 2,000 innings played from 2014 to 2015 had more than seven defensive runs saved. 

Hamilton’s problem is wrapped up in the bat—he owns a .241/.271/.354 career slash line—which makes it hard for manager Bryan Price to play him on a consistent basis. He’s fortunate to be on a rebuilding club that can afford to be patient with him, but there’s only so much string left. 


Advanced stats courtesy of FanGraphs.

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