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Hamilton, Corcino in Midwest League Top 20

   Concerned about Billy Hamilton? Baseball America isn't. BA ranked Hamilton the No. 2 prospect in the Midwest League for 2011, just behind Seattle pitcher Taijuan Walker. BA writers raved about Hamilton's speed, which allowed him to steal bases (103 in 120 attempts) even on pitchouts, as well as beat out choppers to the mound. One scout reportedly called Hamilton the fastest baseball player he'd ever seen. BA ranks Hamilton's speed as 90 or 100 on a scouting scale that tops out at 80.

   BA's Jim Callis wrote that Hamilton is the fastest player since Willie Wilson ran wild for the Royals, A's and Cubs from 1976 through 1994. Switch-hitting for just his second season, the naturally right-handed shortstop batted .286 left-handed and .259 from the right side. The former Mississippi State football recruit began the season slowly, batting .195 through May but hit .316 the rest of the way to finish at 3-50-.278/.340/.360. Hamilton had 18 doubles and nine triples among his 153 hits. Hamilton committed a league-high 39 errors at shortstop, but BA isn't concerned, as many of those came on balls other players never would have reached. Several others were on throws and BA said that's correctable.

    Corcino is ranked No. 16 and draws Johnny Cueto comparisons for his size and lively arm. BA loves Corcino's command, strong slider and improving change. Corcino went 11-7 with a 3.42 ERA. In 139 innings, Corcino struck out 156, walked 34 and allowed 128 hits. FOes batted .238. The Reds joined Seattle, Toronto, St. Louis, the Dodgers and Tampa Bay with two players in the Top 20. San Diego had a league-high three. The Tigers, Cubs, Royals, Brewers and Diamondbacks had one apiece.



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