PHILADELPHIA -- Reds top prospect
and shortstop Billy Hamilton stole three bases on Tuesday for Double-A Pensacola to reach 147 for the season and break
Vince Coleman's single-season professional baseball record of 145, set in 1983.
"I know the guys [whose records he broke]," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "I know Vince Coleman. Donnell Nixon played for me. That's a tremendous feat, especially with the amount of running you have to do. Your legs have to be in great shape with the pounding that you take from sliding. The fact he's been able to do that and stay healthy is a remarkable feat. Someday he will be here."
One enticing question is whether the Reds might make Hamilton a September callup for the stretch run and use him solely as a pinch-runner. Hamilton's steal total buries the Reds' season total of 72 entering Wednesday.
"It's been discussed. It's not my decision," Baker said. "You've got a lot of factors here. Once you put him on the roster, you have to keep him on the roster or somebody can claim him. We've asked about him, big time. There is more factors here than just me wanting him here."
The Reds aren't required to protect Hamilton on the 40-man roster until after the 2013 season. Calling him up in September would also start the service-time clock toward arbitration eligibility.