The worst thing a pitcher could see is Reds SS Billy Hamilton getting a lead off first base. The bad news for California League pitchers is that the Bakersfield shortstop has gotten much better at figuring out how to get to first. Hamilton, 21, was 7-for-29 this week with one extra-base hit, but he drew eight walks compared to four strikeouts, which allowed him to still swipe 12 bases in 15 attempts. Hamilton has walked 22 times compared to 17 strikeouts this month. The Cal League's hitting environments don't hurt, but Hamilton has managed to significantly cut his strikeout rate this year while upping his walk rate, it's a great combination for a leadoff hitter
But yeah, he's a horrible base stealer despite his 80% success rate and that everyone and their mother knows he's on the move.
And he's a horrid hitter despite the California League's atmosphere being condusive to almost every type of hitter except him.
And he's a poor athelte because... well, because he can't hit with power. Which, as we all know, is one of the main components of athleticism as it's defined and judged by 99.99% of the known world.
Hamilton is a remarkable player just scratching the surface of his abilities. He learned how to switch hit three years ago. He learned how to bunt remarkably well last season. He's learned patience at the plate. He's struck out in 10% less of his total ABs than when he started and 5% less than last season.
In short, the guy's showing enough improvement to be a great prospect.