For those of you who take the Baseball America digest, the latest issue had some glowing reports about Hamilton's showing in the Futures Game.
Most of us are aware that Hamilton didn't get a steal in the game, but showed his blazing speed on the triple he hit. What was interesting is that his triple was downplayed around here because it was claimed the outfielder misplayed the ball - a mistake a more experienced OF wouldn't make. (Why do we have to temper our enthusiasm, that somehow his big hit wasn't legitimate?) Anyway, my point is, no one at Baseball America said anything about a misplayed hit by Hamilton. They called it a "line-drive triple." Then they told about the next play, how the pitcher was more worried about keeping Hamilton on 3B tan getting the runner and wound up throwing it away.
What was really interesting in the issue was that in the Futures Game, they really don't worry too much about scouting reports. They don't worry about throwing a certain hitter a curve ball on the outside corner or anything like that. The game plan for a Futures Game is basically to throw your best pitch - which there were a LOT of 95-100 mph fastballs this year - and let the hitter deal with it. That's the game plan. However, the catcher for the World team said that they had a meeting and Billy Hamilton was the only player for the U.S. team that they felt they needed a game plan for. He said their plan was that "if Hamilton got on base, they pitcher would throw as hard as he could and the catcher would throw as quick as he could." (Isn't that ALWAYS the game plan with Hamilton?
The only negative about Hamilton in the issue that I saw, had to do with an erratic throw (questioning his arm strength to stay at the SS position) on a ground ball.