Let the legend of Billy Hamilton officially begin.
The Cincinnati Reds hot prospect stole is 147th stolen base on Tuesday night, breaking the professional baseball record for stolen bases in a single season.
Hamilton, who was ranked the 48th top prospect in all of baseball this past pre-season, stole three bases in his first two at-bats Tuesday, before stealing his fourth in the final inning of Pensacola's 4-2 loss to Montgomery.
The 21-year-old stole 104 bags for Class A Bakersfield earlier this year before being promoted to Double-A Pensacola where he's swiped 42 more already this season. Hamilton only stands at six-foot-one and 160 pounds, and his 147 steals eclipses Vince Coleman's 29-year record of 145 set in 1983. The modern Major League record is held by Rickey Henderson, who stole 130 in 182
In fact, Hamilton has more steals this season than any other professional team; the Miami Marlins lead the majors with 121 steals in 2012.
Hamilton has been caught stealing 33 times, but has also forced many errors and balks while on the base paths. He's also played in 121 games this season, which is eight more than Coleman's 113 during his record-setting season; Coleman was caught 31 times that year.
Reports are stating that Hamilton's 146th record-breaking stolen base, along with his shoes, are headed to Cooperstown, N.Y. for the Hall of Fame. Not bad for a kid in the minors.
"I am so excited for this young man," Coleman told USA Today.
Greg Litton, who played against Coleman while playing in 'the show' has also been beyond impressed by the young speedster. He talked to USA Today as well, stating:
"Vince Coleman had good years in the big leagues, but he still wasn't like this. Stolen bases … first you have to hit well enough, and you can't chase a ton of bad pitches. Everybody is geared up to stop him, and he keeps doing it so easy. It really is amazing…I'll tell you the most impressive thing is how easily he steals third. They are holding him on. Third base is tough. That is a short throw for the catcher. And unless you can get a really jump, it's tough."
"And he makes it looks so easy."
While Hamilton is also hitting at a great clip of .318 with an OBP of .415, experts don't believe the Reds will call him up to the big-leagues anytime this season. However, keep a close eye for his debut in 2013, at the latest, where he could at least be put in as a pinch-runner or start in center field.
Photo Credit: Getty Images