Shortstop Billy Hamilton is only 21 years old and has yet to play above Class A, but Reds fans are already well of the aware of him.
That’s because Hamilton has the kind of game that gets attention. He led all of baseball with 103 steals last year. He already has 80 this year.
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But the Reds haven’t decided whether to promote Hamilton from Class A Bakersfield to Double-A Pensacola.
Hamilton finished the first half hitting .322/.408/.441. He scored 59 runs in 66 games.
The Reds won’t make the decision purely on numbers, however.
“There’s too many factors to get into,” said Bill Bavasi, the club’s vice president of scouting, player development and international operations. “It’s different with every player. You don’t want to get into specifics.”
The Reds like what Hamilton’s done, but he has things to work out.
“We’re thrilled with what he’s doing,” Bavasi said. “He’s run into some rough patches and fought through them. I’ve said this before, but it’s good for a player to struggle some in the minors.
“I faced it with Felix Hernandez (in Seattle). We pushed him as hard as we could. He got to the big leagues when he was 19. But he didn’t face any adversity until he got to the big leagues.”
Hamilton hit .233 with a .292 on-base before the All-Star Break last year at low-A Dayton and .318 with a .382 on-base after the break.
–RHP Homer Bailey takes the ball Friday night when the Reds open a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins. Bailey, 5-4 with a 4.03 ERA overall, has been the Reds’ second most reliable starter behind Johnny Cueto. Bailey has put up quality starts in 10 of 13 outings and six of his last seven.
–RHP Bronson Arroyo has the fifth lowest walk rate per nine innings (1.47) of any starter in the majors, but he walked two in four innings Wednesday. Both preceded Asdrubal Cabrera’s three-run home run.
–CF Drew Stubbs (oblique strain) will begin a short rehab assignment for Class A Dayton Friday. The Reds’ Triple-A affiliate at Louisville is on the road. Stubbs is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday.
–RHP Kyle Lotzkar and SS Billy Hamilton were chosen to play in the Futures Game. Lotzkar has gone a combined 6-2 with a 2.78 ERA at Class A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola.
–RHP Logan Ondrusek, who went eight days without pitching, had his second straight scoreless outing Wednesday. Ondrusek is 3-1 with with a 3.04 ERA overall.
BY THE NUMBERS: 9 of 11 — That’s how many of the home runs Homer Bailey has allowed this year have come at Great American Ball Park.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Billy’s a really good kid as far as makeup, and God blessed him with some great physical skills. That’s a good combination.” –Reds director of scouting, player development and international operations Bill Bavasi on Billy Hamilton
–CF Drew Stubbs (strained left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 6. He is scheduled to begin a short rehab assignment June 22 at Class A Dayton.
–LHP Bill Bray (strained left groin) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 19. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Louisville on April 29, but he moved back to extended spring training in Goodyear, Ariz., after one outing. He resumed throwing May 28, and he threw a bullpen session June 1. He is on a rehab assignment at Class A Dayton.
–RHP Nick Masset (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day disabled list June 15. He threw on flat ground May 24, and he threw off a mound for the first time June 16. There is no timetable for his return.
–RHP Ryan Madson (Tommy John surgery in April 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list April 4. He is out for the season.