By now you’ve surely heard of Reds youngster Billy Hamilton, regarded by many prospect evaluators as the fastest player at any level of professional baseball. Well, he just made some history:
That’s from the official Twitter account of the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos, for whom Hamilton currently serves as the starting shortstop. The record that he broke belonged to Vince Coleman, who tallied 145 stolen bases in 1983 for Single-A Macon and went on to swipe 752 bags over a 13-year major league career.
Hamilton entered Tuesday’s game with a .318/.415/.435 batting line this year in the minors. There’s some thought that the Reds might call him up in September to provide an element of speed off the bench.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.