As a minor league baseball prospects junkie, I've been following Cincinnati Reds prospect Billy Hamilton (ranked #27 on Baseball America's midseason top-50 prospects) closely this year. And maybe you should be following Hamilton closely too, because he, as Gus Johnson would say, has "getting-away-from-the-cops-speed". Yahoo's Jeff Passan wrote an article on Monday which even suggested that Hamilton may be the fastest baseball player ever.
After stealing 103 bases last season, Hamilton stole 104 bases in 125 attempts for the Bakersfield Blaze (Reds' single-A affiliate) this season. 104 STOLEN BASES IN 82 GAMES.
The shortstop recently moved up to double-A ball with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, and in five games there, has five stolen bases in six attempts (so, in total, Hamilton has 109 stolen bases in 87 minor league games this year).
And in last night's Blue Wahoos game, Hamilton showed off his amazing wheels on an inside-the-park home run that took him only 13.8 seconds to make it around the bases:
The record for stolen bases in a minor league season is 145, held by Vince Coleman. And before the All-Star Futures Game last week in Kansas City, Hamilton told CBS Sports, "Yeah, last year I didn't get to 100 until the last couple of games of the season. Then when I hit 100 this year, it didn't feel the same. Last year it was intense. This year it was just another stolen base. I guess 145 will be like 100 was last year. It is the record, 145, so last year when I got to 100 it was pretty intense -- so this year it will be 145. Well, 146 -- 145 would tie it. I don't want to just tie it."
Thigh Five: theScore's awesome MLB blog, Getting Blanked