LOS ANGELES -- It is looking more and more likely that a promotion to Double-A Pensacola is near for the Reds' top prospect, Billy Hamilton. The shortstop has an astounding 100 stolen bases
and a .327 average for Class A Bakersfield.
The Reds haven't addressed any speculation about Hamilton.
"I won't answer that," said Bill Bavasi, the Reds' vice president of scouting, player development and international operations, while visiting Dodger Stadium on Monday.
There is no doubting that Hamilton is well regarded by the organization, which will be sending him to the MLB All-Star Futures game in Kansas City this weekend.
"It's cliché to say he's a special talent because it's way overused, but I don't know how else to explain it," Bavasi said.
Hamilton, who has been caught stealing 21 times, has 47 walks and 61 strikeouts to go with a .416 on-base percentage. The Reds view him as future top-of-the-order guy when he eventually reaches the Majors.
"He has a desire and the instincts to do something not everyone wants to do, and that's be a leadoff hitter," Bavasi said. "A lot of people say the leadoff hitter only bats once a game, but there is still a mentality that goes through the whole game.
"He wants to be a leadoff hitter. He understands the importance of it. He knows what he should do and shouldn't do. He knows he should be on base. That's a special thing to have. He's on his journey. When he takes that next step, he'll have to learn more things because the game will be a little faster and a little tougher."