Hamilton puts Bat, legs to good use

Top Reds prospect grabs four hits, three stolen bases in loss

Billy Hamilton stole three bases for the second time this season on Monday. (Mike Stewart)

By Sam Dykstra / Special to MLB.com | April 8, 2013 9:42 PM ET

Before every game of his young season, Billy Hamilton has tweeted three simple, yet poignant words.

Make someone's day.

With the show he put in front of 4,453 at Louisville Slugger Field on Monday, chances are pretty good he achieved his goal.

The Reds' top prospect went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and stole three bases, but the impressive offensive performance wasn't enough to keep the Triple-A Louisville Bats from falling, 7-2, to Columbus Clippers.

Hamilton, who left Friday's game early and did not play Saturday due to cramps, matched a career high with the four-hit night, having reached the mark six times before this season. The effort doubled his 2013 hit output in just one contest. He is 8-for-16 through four games with two doubles and a triple. His two-run base hit in the fourth inning gave him his first two RBIs of the season and the Bats their only tallies of the night.

But of course, the key to Hamilton's success is his speed, and that was on full display on Monday.

MLB.com's No. 11 prospect stole second after singling to start the Bats' half of the first  He swiped third in the third and sixth, giving him six to begin the 2013 season.

Hamilton, who is playing his first full season in center field, made headlines a year ago for breaking the Minor League record with 155 stolen bases between Class A Advanced Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola. As impressive as that campaign was, it did not start out as aggressively as the current one. The 2009 second-round pick swiped only two bags through the first four games with the Blaze in 2012.

"Billy is unique," Louisville manager Jim Riggleman told MiLB.com on Friday. "He's fearless out there, putting pressure on people. The key for him is to get on base, and he got on base a couple of times. If he gets on, he can do some good things. We're thrilled with what he's doing."

Second baseman Ray Chang went 2-for-4 with a run scored and was the Bats' only hitter outside of Hamilton to complete a multi-hit night. Reds' No. 4 prospect Daniel Corcino was roughed up for five runs on five hits and a walk in 3 2/3 innings to take the loss in his Triple-A debut.

Clippers first baseman Adam Abraham hit a three-run homer to lead the offensive charge for the Indians' Triple-A affiliate. Hamilton's leadoff counterpart Tim Fedroff went 2-for-5 with two runs scored.

Sam Dykstra is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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