So, after the 2013 season, Reds’ GM Walt Jocketty fired Manager Dusty Baker for two years of playoff futility. Then, he loses leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Chin to free agency, without having a legitimate replacement.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for Jocketty to fire himself.
Instead, the Reds are trying to sell rookie outfielder Billy Hamilton as 2014’s leadoff hitter, and the Next Big Thing. This, despite the fact that they’ve already tried to make a trade, as well as sign oft-injured Grady Sizemore, to fill the role. That makes Hamilton the Reds’ third, maybe fourth choice, for the job.
Nothing against Hamilton; he’ll be an incredible leadoff hitter one day. He’s already genius at stealing bases, with 395 after five minor league seasons. He also stole 13 bases in 13 games during a brief call-up to Cincinnati last September. But you can’t steal first. In his single year at AAA Louisville he batted only .256, with a .308 on-base percentage. That doesn’t translate well into the majors, especially on a team with World Series aspirations.