Hamilton hunts down four-star catch

Hamilton hunts down four-star catch

CINCINNATI -- There is one segment of the population that appreciates the amazing plays Billy Hamilton makes in center field more than Reds fans: Reds pitchers.

To end the top of the sixth inning in the Reds' 4-2 loss to the Brewers on Sunday, Hamilton used his speed to rob Nick Franklin of extra bases with an over-the-shoulder grab at the warning track. With a runner on first base and facing relief pitcher Tim Adleman, Franklin launched a drive to straight-away center field.

Hamilton made the long run back towards the wall as the ball appeared to carry over his head and he made an over-the-shoulder catch with an outstretched glove as he fell to the warning track.

"He covers a lot of ground in the outfield," Franklin said. "By the time I looked up and saw that he was still going after it, I figured he must still have a chance at it."

According to Statcast™, it was a four-star catch. Hamilton covered 76 feet in 4.5 seconds. The catch probability was only 32 percent.

"You don't know if you want to catch it off the wall and try to keep the run from scoring. At the last minute, I figured that I had a chance for it," Hamilton said. "I don't think I had one of the best jumps ever, but it was good enough to get to the point where I needed to be. It was a last-minute decision, where I knew I had to throw my glove up. It actually got stuck in the palm and [Adam] Duvall was scared that when I hit the ground, it was going to come out. When I caught it, I felt like it was just stuck there. It was pretty awesome."

Adleman raised his arms in the air after watching Hamilton make the play from the mound. He waited in front of the Reds' dugout to greet his center fielder and let him know what he thought about the latest great catch on Hamilton's resume.

"He was like 'great play.' He was in shock himself," Hamilton said of Adleman. "For me, I try to make it for every pitcher out there pitching. I told [Drew] Storen the other day ... 'For you or anybody on the team pitching, I'm going to give my best, even if I have to jump into walls and stuff like that.' It's hard for me not to do that."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.