Red Sox infield prospect David Hamilton made quite the first impression in his organizational debut for Double-A Portland on Friday night.
Batting leadoff and starting at second base in Portland’s opener against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Hadlock Field, Hamilton went 4-for-5 with a triple, two home runs, seven RBIs, three runs scored, and one stolen base while leading the Sea Dogs to a commanding 11-6 victory.
Matched up against Fisher Cats starter Elvis Luciano to begin things on Friday, Hamilton got his productive night at the plate started by ripping a leadoff triple to right field and scoring on an RBI double off the bat of Izzy Wilson.
An inning later, Hamilton followed up a leadoff double from Kole Cottam by taking Luciano deep to right field for a two-run home run and his first big fly of the young season.
In the third, Hamilton came through with runners on second and third base and greeted new Fisher cats reliever Parker Caracci by lacing a run-scoring single to right field that plated Hudson Potts and gave the Sea Dogs a 7-1 lead.
After Tyreque Reed, Potts, and Cottam loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth, Hamilton took a 1-1 pitch from right-hander Joey Murray and proceeded to deposit a bases-clearing grand slam into Portland’s bullpen in right field.
Hamilton’s second homer of the contest put the Sea Dogs up 11-1. It was also the last time on the night Hamilton reached base, as he came up short of completing the cycle by flying out to right field in his final at-bat in the bottom of the sixth.
Hamilton, 24, comes into the 2022 season ranked by Baseball America as the No. 25 prospect in the Boston’s farm system. The Red Sox acquired Hamilton, fellow prospect Alex Binelas, and Jackie Bradley Jr. from the Brewers in the trade that sent Hunter Renfroe to Milwaukee last December.
A former eighth-round draft pick of the Brewers coming out of the University of Texas in 2019, Hamilton missed the entirety of the 2019 minor-league season while recovering from a ruptured Achilles and the entirety of the 2020 minor-league season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The speedy left-handed hitter finally made his professional debut last year and impressed, slashing .258/.341/.419 (110 wRC+) with 48 extra-base hits (eight home runs), 43 RBIs, and 52 stolen bases across 101 games (459 plate appearances) between High-A Wisconsin and Double-A Biloxi. He also participated in the Arizona Fall League and posted a .916 OPS in 14 games (53 plate appearances) with the Salt River Rafters.
Defensively, Hamilton is well-regarded for his skills as a middle infielder. In 2021, the 6-foot, 175 pounder logged 746 2/3 innings at shortstop and 112 2/3 innings at second base. He figures to see time at both positions with Portland in 2022.
Hamilton, who turns 25 in September, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this December. The Red Sox would need to add the native Texan to their 40-man roster between now and late November if they wish to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.
With that being said, the 2022 campaign should prove to be an important one for Hamilton. He certainly did not waste any time in getting things off to a hot start on Friday.
(Picture of David Hamilton: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)