I feel as if it's a foregone conclusion that Billy Hamilton will move to CF and will eventually be the Reds' leadoff hitter/CF for years to come.
All the signs point to this IMO:
1. The club appears to have finally given up on the idea of Drew Stubbs as the everyday CF and someone that bats atop the lineup. He has been replaced by Chris Heisey and it looks like that's the approach the Reds will take with them into the playoffs.
2. While it's Heisey's job now, I don't think the club views him as the long-term answer at CF. I think they like him as a No. 4 OF.
3. The Reds have a solid starting SS in Zack Cozart who is only 27 years old. Cozart is very-good defensively and decent offensively for a SS. And if you believe that Cozart will naturally improve over his offensive numbers as a rookie, the Reds should be set for years at SS with a solid performer.
4. The club also has what looks to be a good long-term solution as the backup SS -- and even someone that could perhaps push Cozart for the starting role one day -- in Didi Gregorius.
5. While Hamilton has never played OF before, there is a long list of players that have moved from SS to CF. Robin Yount is the first that comes to mind. There are dozens of others. Baseball people believe that if you can play SS, you can play almost anywhere else on the field. With Hamilton's incredible speed and relatively-strong arm, he could be a great fit in CF.
6. CF is a "need" position for the Reds going forward (see: their pursuit of Denard Span and others before the deadline, before realizing the price was too high ... this is if you believe reports from mlbtraderumors.com, ESPN and many others).
7. SS is not a "need" position for the Reds going forward.
Add it all up and I expect to see "Slidin' Billy" open the 2013 season as the Pensacola Blue Wahoos' CF. Maybe Louisville, but I think they'll start him at Double-A to begin next season.