Cincinnati Reds minor leaguer Billy Hamilton stole his 146th base this season while playing for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the Class AA Southern League.
Major League Baseball notes that this is a professional record, surpassing Vince Coleman’s mark of 145.
BREAKING: @reds Minor League SS Billy Hamilton steals 146th base, breaking Vince Coleman's pro baseball record set in 1983.— MLB (@MLB) August 22, 2012
Coleman set the record while playing for the Macon in the South Atlantic League, then went on to have a productive 12-year career in the majors.
Hamilton will hope he can follow in Coleman’s footsteps, and given how quickly he can travel 90 feet, the 21-year-old shortstop has a bright future ahead of him.
The Reds drafted the Mississippi native out of high school in the second round of the 2009 draft. He started this year playing Class A ball with Bakersfield, but was quickly bumped up in competition.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports put his astounding number of stolen bases in perspective, noting that Hamilton has 25 more steals this season than the entire Miami Marlins team, who currently lead the majors in the category.
His speed has become legendary throughout his high school and young professional career. Robert Weintraub of the New York Times reported a few of his exploits:
In Bakersfield, Calif., Hamilton scored on a sacrifice fly — to the second baseman. He also scored from third when the catcher threw to first to complete a strikeout. In high school, Hamilton once made a fine running catch on the warning track. Not so unusual, except he was playing shortstop at the time.
Baseball Prospectus’ blog, Tater Trot Tracker, also took notice of Hamilton’s speed earlier this summer after he scored on an inside-the-park home run.
Billy Hamilton, minor league Albert Einstein of speed, hit an inside-the-park HR today. 13.8 secs on the trot. I'm speechless (h/t @ctrent)— Tater Trot Tracker (@TaterTrotTrkr) July 16, 2012
Hamilton’s speed is simply ridiculous. He is a dangerous runner who is already rewriting record books this early into his career. There are surely more exciting accomplishments to come for the unstoppable Reds prospect young career.