Baseball players are ultra competitive. Every day players compete with opposing players, pitcher and themselves.
Reds’ centerfielder Billy Hamilton and leftfielder Adam Duvall are teammates competing with each other. It isn’t about home runs, stolen bases or batting average. Their competition comes from throwing runners out on the base paths.
Hamilton and Duvall are desperately trying to one up the other.
“We don’t have anything on it money wise,” Duvall said. “It is a competition, not only on assists but making great plays. When it’s keeping a hitter from getting to second. We cheer each other on but we try to out do each other.”
Hamilton, who made a highlight reel catch on Tuesday, expounded on the competition for assists..
“It is pretty cool,” Hamilton said. ‘It’s another thing you can get on each other about. Their is a competition between me and Duvy. When he throws somebody out, I get big time pumped up. When I throw somebody out, he gets big time pumped up too. It’s good fun.’
Hamilton is a converted shortstop and got one year in the minor leagues to learn the outfield. Duvall was a thirdbaseman in the minors and only played a little outfield. Reds’ coach Billy Hatcher, the centerfielder on the 1990 Reds’ World Champion team, works with all the outfielders.
Making circus catches appealed to Hamilton but he’s become fond of cutting down baserunners.
“I didn’t, I don’t want to say liked throwing people out. It’s just that I had never done it,” said Hamilton of the throwing aspect of outfield play. “So I had a couple assists, now I’m like coming out every day, I’m waiting to throw somebody out. When I first started, I didn’t want them to hit the ball to me. I didn’t want to make a bad throw. Now its getting to the point I want to have the ball hit to me. It’s like natural. It is pretty good we’re both up there with the lead. We van talk noise to each other.”
Hatcher had the outfielders on the field early this week throwing to bases.
“I sat Hatch what’s up. We’re leading the league in assists. What do you want from us,” Hamilton said. “Hatcher said that we try to throw to bases a couple of times a week. I tole him we hadn’t done but two or three times all year. We laughed. It’s all fun and games. It’s fun to see Winker and Duvy and Schebler out there, everybody helping each other out.”
The San Diego Padres gat an eyefull of Hamilton and Duvall last night. Carlos Asuaje was robbed twice by Hamilton. One was a leaping catch against the fence, the other was a diving catch in the right centerfield gap.
Padres manager Andy Green was able to appreciate it after his team win on Tuesday.
“I didn’t like it at all,” said Green, who played in the Reds’ farm system at Louisville in 2008. “I definitely respect it. He’s fun to watch. Cincinnati fans are lucky to see something like that. He can fly to the baseball. He gets to balls that nobody else can get to. The way he defends centerfield, the way he throws the ball, the way he runs the bases. He’s an electric player, a special type of talent.: