The Cincinnati Reds have made it official; they are moving top prospect Billy Hamilton from shortstop to the outfield full-time, reports Mark Sheldon of MLB.com:
"There are a lot of reasons," Bill Bavasi, the Reds' vice president of scouting and player development, told MLB.com. "We have [Zack] Cozart. We have Didi [Gregorius]. If you watch Hamilton's style of play, it's a pounding style of play. It would be an easier position for his body to take along with the base stealing. Everything seems to work better."
Hamilton will get his first regular taste of the outfield this offseason when he participates in the Arizona Fall League. He is expected to switch between center field, left field and shortstop this fall.
Players sometimes change positions to accommodate a promotion. Mike Olt and Manny Machado are examples of this from the 2012 season. However, Hamilton’s promotion to the majors isn’t imminent at this time, as the team is still deciding if he’ll start the 2013 season in Double- or Triple-A.
Hamilton entered 2012 ranked as Baseball America’s 48th-best prospect in the game, and he did nothing to diminish this high praise. The 22-year-old started the year with the Reds’ high-A affiliate, hitting .323/.413/.439 before being promoted to Double-A, where he hit .286/.406/.383. On the season he tallied 22 doubles, 14 triples and a record-setting 155 stolen bases in 192 attempts.