Royals Ink Billy Hamilton To 1-Year Contract With Mutual Option

Courtesy of the Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has signed outfielder Billy Hamilton to a one-year contract with a mutual option for the 2020 season. Per club policy, details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Hamilton, 28, set career highs in games (153) and walks (46) this past season with the Cincinnati Reds, while batting .236 (119-for-504) with 16 doubles, four homers and 74 runs scored. He ranked second in the National League in stolen bases (34) and tied for second in triples (9). The switch-hitting outfielder played 150 games in center field and one in right last year, tying for the Major League lead with 12 assists, which was one shy of his highest single-season total (13 in 2017).

Hamilton has spent his entire Major League career with Cincinnati, after being selected by the Reds in the second round of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Taylorsville (Miss.) High School. Since debuting for the Reds on Sept. 3, 2013, he leads all Major League players in stolen bases (277) and all MLB center fielders in assists (52), while he’s second in overall outfield assists behind Starling Marte (56). His 277 career thefts are fifth-most by a Reds’ player since 1900, while he has 56 career games with multiple steals, including tying a franchise record with five at Wrigley Field on June 14, 2015.

He has been a finalist for a Rawlings Gold Glove five times in his career, including in 2018, while he finished runner-up for the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year Award, which Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom won.

Kansas City’s Major League Reserve List is now at 38 players.