The Cincinnati Reds are shifting speedy prospect Billy Hamilton from shortstop to center field next season. The move could help streamline his path to the big league club, and Reds vice president of scouting and player development Bill Bavasi believes the move may also prove beneficial to Hamilton's overall play, per MLB.com:
"There are a lot of reasons... We have [Zack] Cozart. We have Didi [Gregorius]. If you watch Hamilton's style of play, it's a pounding style of play.
"It would be an easier position for his body to take along with the base stealing. Everything seems to work better."
The 22-year-old Hamilton set the minor-league record for stolen bases this season, nabbing 155 bags in 192 attempts between Single- and Triple-A. Known more for his speed than his bat entering this season, the young switch-hitter backed up his eye-popping base-running numbers with a productive year at the plate, batting .311/.410/.420 in 132 games.
Hamilton will take his first shots at playing the outfield in the Arizona Fall League later this month, where he is expected to split time between shortstop, center field and left field. Bavasi said that a big league promotion for Hamilton would not be imminent in 2013, but he did not confirm where the speedster would begin the year. Drew Stubbs is currently manning center field for the Reds, but his job could be up for grabs after he hit just .213/.277/.333 on the year.