Third times the charm? The Cubs claimed speedy outfielder Billy Hamilton off waivers on September 7th, 2020. Making the Cubs Hamilton’s third team in 2020. For what purpose? Although Hamilton is widely regarded as the fastest player in the majors, he has taken a large step back from the player he once was. Cubs fans may remember Hamilton from his days with the Reds, where he would practically swipe bases at will, but nowadays it does not seem that way.
Hamilton of The Past
Billy Hamilton first broke into the league with the Cincinnati Reds in 2013, but 2014 would be his rookie campaign. In 2014 Hamilton would be the runner up for rookie of the year, where he swiped 56 bases and had an on-base percentage just south of .300. Between 2014 and 2018 he would swipe bases like he was scrolling through Tinder, totaling 264 stolen bases on 326 attempts. Aside from Hamilton’s speed on the basepaths, he is an excellent guy to have in the field with a career .995 fielding percentage.
Hamilton’s Fit in Chicago
The Cubs outfield is pretty much set in stone, with Jason Heyward, Kyle Schwarber, and Ian Happ. Although Billy Hamilton likely will not be an everyday player with the Cubs. He could play a big role down the stretch. With the new extra innings rule, Hamilton is the ideal player to start on second base. With his speed, the advantage can be given to the Cubs. Among this advantage, the Cubs could and likely will use Hamilton as a pinch-runner in close games. Who knows? He could end up being the leadoff batter the Cubs have been seeking since the departure of Dexter Fowler.
Billy Hamilton is now a Cub. As the Cubs did not have to give anything up there is almost no way this move backfires. Although Cubs’ fans may not see much of him, he could be a fixture late in games. Fans will hope to see a resurrection of Hamilton’s Reds days, but that is all field time-dependent.
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