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Reds OF Hamilton gets chance to speed up career

Associated Press

2/14/2013 4:42:38 PM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Billy Hamilton is getting a chance to speed up his career by doing more than just stealing bases.

The 22-year-old outfielder with high-end speed has been invited to spring training with the Cincinnati Reds for the first time. He's projected to start the season at Triple-A Louisville, where he can continue learning to play centre field and becoming a switch-hitter.

If he has a solid spring with the Reds, he'll boost his standing with the front office and manager Dusty Baker, who has seen very little of him. Baker wants to see how he does things other than just stealing.

Hamilton set a professional record by stealing 155 bases last season at Single-A and Double-A. He could be the starting centre fielder in Cincinnati in 2014.