The Cincinnati Reds are probably fine with the occasional home run from speedy lead-off man Billy Hamilton. Who would complain, after all, about getting a home run early and improving your team’s chances to win, both in terms of momentum and win expectancy?
They might like to see it come as more of a bonus contribution, however. And in order for something to be a bonus, there has to be a good contribution on which to add that bonus. Hamilton is not holding up that end of the bargain, at least not yet.
Hamilton’s speed sets him apart from most guys at the top of the order across baseball. All the Reds need him to do is get on base so that he can disrupt opposing pitching staffs and create runs.
That brings us to the thing that Hamilton isn’t doing: getting on base. Hamilton entered Sunday’s action with a mediocre .296 on-base percentage to go along with a .257 average. Impressively enough he has still stolen 25 bases.
Yes, the Reds would love to see Hamilton raise his underwhelming OPS up from .660. A home run is nice, but in the long run they know that they need to see some better on-base skills.
Here is video of the home run, courtesy of MLB.com: