Even for baseball's best basestealer, it's been a pretty amazing week.
High Class A Bakersfield shortstop Billy Hamilton (Reds) stole three bases in Sunday afternoon's game against Rancho Cucamonga. The three steals gives him 90 this season, 39 more than anyone else in pro baseball. The three stolen bases came on the heels of a four-steal Saturday and one stolen base on Friday, giving him eight steals this weekend.
If you include his first game back from the Carolina-California League all-star game and the last game of the first half (where he stole five bases). Hamilton is having the most productive basestealing stretch of his career with 15 steals in five games. The best previous stretch of his career was a five-game segment where he stole 12 bases in late April this year. Hamilton had never stolen more than 10 bases in a five-game stretch before this season.
Hamilton's 33 steals this month are the most steals he's ever had in a month, topping the 29 he stole this April. Hamilton's three most productive basestealing months of his career have all occurred this year—he stole 28 bases in May. Before this year, he had never stolen more than 24 bases in a month (Rookie-level Billings, Aug. 2010).
Thanks to his recent burst, Hamilton has upped his stolen bases-per-game pace to 1.2. Even with the Futures Game meaning that he will miss a couple of scheduled games, the speedster is currently on pace to steal 166 bases. The pro record is 145 steals, set by Vince Coleman in 1983 in low Class A Macon.
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