Billy Hamilton could use this as motivation to make the Chicago White Sox roster.
Rick Hahn has made a point to add speed to the roster the past two seasons. Midway through the 2020 season, he acquired Jarrod Dyson who acted as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement. Hahn replaced Dyson by adding Billy Hamilton.
Hamilton is considered one of the fastest players in the MLB. He has accumulated 305 stolen bases. Hamilton’s speed can be used to manufacture runs. It can also be put to good use in the outfield. He has made some highlight-reel plays on balls that most outfielders have no business getting to.
The White Sox saw the damage Billy Hamilton could do last year up close in a 10-8 loss to the Cubs. In that game, Hamilton swiped two bases including home. The White Sox added him as a luxury depth piece. He was a fridge player to make the roster given that the White Sox were already using Adam Engel as their fourth outfielder and Leury Garcia as their utility player.
Now the door has opened for Hamilton to expand his role with the team. He is going to get a look and he needs to make the most of it. Tony La Russa made it clear that he expects Hamilton to do it all on the baseball field.
"“In Billy’s case, he’s been a player, not just a baserunner,” La Russa said. “He’s an outfielder, had some good hitting years. There’s no doubt there will be some games where if you can manufacture a run, it’s the difference, and Billy’s made a career of that.”"
Hamilton’s offensive numbers leave a lot to be desired. However, he would be a serviceable plug-and-play option for the first couple of games. When Engel returns it is easy to see him carving out a role on the White Sox bench and be a valuable weapon for them.