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.
Update (5:55 PM ET): It’s official. The Mets have optioned Phillip Evans to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Bautista on the 25-man roster. Bautista will be available for Tuesday’s game against the Marlins.
SNY’s Andy Martino reports that the Mets are close to a deal with free agent Jose Bautista. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as the Mets were rumored to be interested in him on Monday, a day after the Braves released him.
Bautista, 37, struggled to a .593 OPS in 40 plate appearances with the Braves. He’s coming off of his worst season as a regular, as he hit .203 in 157 games last year with the Blue Jays.
Bautista mostly played in the outfield for the Jays, but played third base for the Braves. The Mets need depth at both third base and in the outfield due to injuries to Todd Frazier, Yoenis Cespedes, and Juan Lagares.
It will be interesting to see who loses their roster spot to accomodate Bautista. I suggested earlier it should be Jose Reyes.