Is David Hamilton The Utility Man Of The Future In Boston?
It may have been a bit of a surprise when the Red Sox added David Hamilton to the 40-Man roster prior to the deadline to lock players in before the Rule 5 Draft in December. The NBC Sports Boston team put together an interesting piece detailing the reasons why Hamilton was added to the roster. I just think it needs to be expanded upon. Hamilton’s addition to the 40 man isn’t surprising because in a perfect world, Hamilton represents what could be the future utility man of the Red Sox.
The Hunter Renfroe trade looked a hell of a lot worse when Jackie Bradley got straight up cut last year. However, at the time of the deal, defending the Renfroe trade wasn’t impossible. Hamilton is on the 40 man because this decision was made a year ago. The Red Sox clearly believe Hamilton has such a unique skill set that he has to be on this roster.
Hamilton, 25, just stole 70 bases at Double-A Portland. Forget about the things Billy Hamilton was doing. When David reaches the big leagues, he’s going to be the most prolific base stealer in the game from day one. It’s world class speed that you frankly can’t teach.
To state the obvious, the new MLB rule changes all favor someone like Hamilton.
Left-hander when you can’t shift anymore? Check.
Limited pick-off moves making it harder to control the running game? Check.
Larger bases making it easier to steal extra bags? Check.
The modern day MLB will continue to favor great athletes with the new rule changes. Hamilton is a career .251 hitter in the minors but that’s more than ok! If Hamilton can just make contact while being a factor on the bases and defensive replacement, doesn’t that earn a place on any roster? The former Brewers farmhand can play second base and all three outfield spots.
I don’t want to speak too soon but it’s hard not to have hope for David Hamilton. The best case scenario is the Sox have found their next Brock Holt except with a new version that has game breaking speed. The Hunter Renfroe trade still has hope. Hamilton will likely start next season in AAA but his arrival in Boston will come sooner rather than later.
Remember the name. The next time the Sox need a Dave Roberts moment, they just might have the right man for the job already on the roster.