Reds rookie Billy Hamilton stole his 50th base of the season last night and in doing so the 23-year-old center fielder became the youngest player to reach 50 steals since Hanley Ramirez in 2007.
Here’s a complete list of the 23-and-under players with 50-plus steals in the past 20 years:
BILLY HAMILTON 2014 50
Hanley Ramirez 2007 51
Hanley Ramirez 2006 51
Jose Reyes 2006 64
Jose Reyes 2005 60
Carl Crawford 2004 59
Carl Crawford 2003 55
Luis Castillo 1999 51
Also of note: Hamilton is the first rookie with 50 steals in a season since Jacoby Ellsbury in 2008 and before that Ramirez in 2006.
Oh, and in case anyone is wondering: All-time stolen base king Rickey Henderson had 319 career steals through age 23, including 130 in his age-23 season.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.