I just spent thirty minutes looking up what Jere Burns has been up to. Ah, the offseason. You are a soothing mistress that touches my naughty bits with idle hands. A quick preamble about the 2014 fantasy baseball rookie series that is coming from me over the next few weeks. Rookies are picked through MLB eligibility requirements, less than 130 ABs or 50 IP. That means no Avisail Garcia, no Michael Wacha and no Danny Salazar. In 2012, the first batter I highlighted was Mike Trout. That wasn’t an accident. I said in the Mike Trout post that “he’s ranked number one for me. Numero uno. The Big Mahoff. He’s the big Statue of Liberty in New York, not that girly one in Paris!” Last year, the first batter I highlighted was Wil Myers. You see a pattern? Eh, slow your juices on the thinking. I’ll tell you. The first rookie I highlight will be a top rookie for fantasy. This prospect isn’t no ordinary man, this is the prospect I be seeing in my sleep. Billy Hamilton will be your number one fantasy rookie for next year. With Dusty’s toothpick out of Cincy, how will playing time shake out for Hamilton? What if the toothpick stays, but Dusty goes? How will food shake out of Dusty’s teeth? Will Dusty be relegated to coaching Little League games, which will mean there will be no new major league pitchers in ten years because he’ll ruin them at twelve years old? So many questions and so little time to look up Jere Burns info! Anyway, what can we expect of Billy Hamilton for 2014 fantasy baseball?
A crapload of steals. A shizzstorm of speed. Stealing on the low. Running on the low. Sliding on the low, as Drake would say. I really don’t want to like Drake, but his songs are damn catchy. You know what’s not catchy? Hamilton when he’s running. I was a tad skeptical when I heard he broke the all-time steals record in the minor leagues. I like to see a guy with my own eyes. Well, I’m convinced. I haven’t see anyone steal like him since Rickey Henderson. Vince Coleman had this kind of speed too. A young Jose Reyes. Kenny Lofton. A guy that is on 2nd base as soon as he’s on first. Then on third. I have goose pimples. Hamilton had 13 steals in 13 games and 22 plate appearances. When everyone in the stadium knows a guy is stealing and there’s still nothing that can be done, a guy can steal 75 bases with ease. That’s probably with a plus or minus 25 steals. Everything else besides runs will be pedestrian. I don’t think he hits .260. Doubt he hits more than 2 homers. Could have less than 25 RBIs. The big question that I mentioned above between Jere Burns mentions is the playing time. How many ABs will he get? I think he’ll see 330-350 ABs. The Reds have a great thing with Hamilton. It jazzes up the fans like a mix CD from Crate & Barrel. Like they’re piping in oxygen laced with Red Bull. If guys had boobs and they flashed them at baseball games, they’d be flashing Billy Hamilton. That’ll work to get Hamilton playing time. It’s like John C. Riley in the sound booth in Boogie Nights. The magic that is on Hamilton’s feet is his and it can’t be taken away. He still won’t be an everyday guy, and you probably don’t want him to be because he can’t handle all pitchers yet. In 350 ABs, I’ll give him the line of 73/2/28/.250/67.