Red Sox baserunning prospect of the year – David Hamilton
The Red Sox had a lot of great candidates for this. David Hamilton wins by a pretty comfortable margin though. Could I have given it to anyone else other than the man that broke the Portland Sea Dogs’ franchise record for most steals in a season?
Hamilton came over to the Red Sox organization in the trade that sent Hunter Renfroe to the Milwaukee Brewers. A large contingent of fans for some reason love calling that the “Renfroe for Jackie Bradley Jr.” trade. They use that as a way to bash the move.
Boston also got two prospects in return. Alex Binelas struggled when he moved up to Double-A, but still managed 25 home runs and 78 runs batted in this season. Then there’s David Hamilton.
Hamilton got off to a ridiculous start but quickly cooled down. After a rough few months, the left-handed hitter got back on track though and ended the year with some great numbers. Hamilton slashed .251/.338/.402 with 16 doubles, nine triples, and 12 home runs in Double-A. He drove in 42 runs, scored 81 more, and even walked 56 times.
Through the ups-and-downs of his season, one thing that never slumped was his speed. And wow did he show that off, a lot. Hamilton finished the year 70-for-78 on stolen base attempts. That is not a typo, by the way. He actually stole 70 bases.
The sheer volume is impressive, but there’s so much more to it. Hamilton accomplished this efficiently. Only being caught eight times shows that he was smart, but also just too fast to catch. Multiple times, the team pitched out on a steal attempt, and Hamilton simply beat out the throw anyways.
We also got to see him leg out doubles and triples that shouldn’t have been doubles and triples. Scoring from first or second on hits that most players wouldn’t even attempt to score on was a pretty common occurrence too. Hamilton has elite speed, and he knows how to use it. It’s one thing to be fast, it’s another to be fast and smart.
Say what you will about his streaky hitting, but David Hamilton is stupid fast. That’s something that will play at any level. If the Red Sox can help him figure it out at the plate to become a little more consistent, he’ll be a weapon in the Majors.
(CF) Ceddanne Rafaela: 28-for-35 on steal attempts. He’s extremely aggressive but smart. Stole multiple extra-base hits when the defense was lacking for even a second.
(UM) Eddinson Paulino: 27-for-32 on steal attempts, good at taking an extra base when the defense gives it to him. Very aggressive.
(SS) Brainer Bonaci: 28-for-34 on steal attempts. Aggressive, but usually very smart about it.
(SS) Marcelo Mayer: 17-for-17 on steal attempts. Very smart, but could be a little more aggressive, but will take an extra base if the defense isn’t paying attention.
(UM) Christian Koss: 16-for-21 on steal attempts. Underrated burner, has good aggression, insanely fast down the first-base-line, and will catch defenses sleeping.