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Cincinnati Reds to keep Billy Hamilton at leadoff

By Alex Butler   |   Feb. 24, 2016 at 7:09 PM

CINCINNATI, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Billy Hamilton's hitting talent may never catch up to his fast feet, but Cincinnati is sticking buy its leadoff man.

Reds manager Bryan Price told the Cincinnati Enquirer's C. Trent Rosecrans that "he still believes in Billy Hamilton as his leadoff man, and he will get that opportunity this year."

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Reds leadoff hitters ranked No. 29 in baseball last season, with a .290 on base percentage, and No. 27, with a .241 batting average.

Hamilton, 25, has a .287 career on-base percentage. On Monday, he told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon that his surgically repaired right shoulder was not 100 percent healthy, but he is "exactly at the point" where he thought he would be.

"Everything is feeling good," Hamilton told Sheldon. "I am exactly at the point I thought I would be. Spring Training is a long time, a month-and-a-half. I've been doing stuff the whole [offseason]. There is no limitation to what I can do. I just have to keep working. You can't think you're feeling good and stop doing the process that I've been doing."

Hamilton hit .226, with four home runs and 28 walks last season. He also stole 57 bases and ranked No. 4 in baseball with a 87.69 stolen base percentage in 2015.

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