Billy Hamilton Designated for Assignment by Royals

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 16, 2019

Kansas City Royals' Billy Hamilton flips his bat after striking out in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, June 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Billy Hamilton's disappointing stint with the Kansas City Royals came to an end Friday when the veteran outfielder was designated for assignment.

The team announced Brett Phillips has been recalled from Triple-A to take Hamilton's spot on the 25-man roster.

Hamilton's spot with Kansas City has been uncertain in recent weeks as his playing time decreased. The 28-year-old has started only four games this month, with his most recent appearance coming on Aug. 11 against the Detroit Tigers.

Even before the team benched him, the Royals reportedly shopped Hamilton leading up to the July 31 trade deadline but ultimately held on to the speedster.

Kansas City signed Hamilton to a one-year deal with a team option for 2020 last December. His defense has been excellent this season. His 9.8 FanGraphs defensive value is tied with Byron Buxton for best among all MLB center fielders, and his 10 defensive runs saved is tied with Buxton for fourth.

Unfortunately, Hamilton's offense has continued to be a problem. Out of 220 players with at least 300 plate appearances this season, his .269 slugging percentage and .544 OPS rank last in MLB.

Phillips was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers in the July 2018 trade for Mike Moustakas. The 25-year-old has a .240/.378/.505 slash line and 18 home runs in 105 games at Triple-A Omaha this season.