Minor League Ball Gameday, September 1

Billy Hamilton - USA TODAY Sports

Promotions begin for the stretch run: Billy Hamilton, Nick Castellanos, and Michael Choice among others will get chances with their respective clubs; Dusty Baker comments on September promotions; Joey Gallo hits his 40th home run

Good afternoon prospect watchers. I hope your Labor Day weekend is going well. Let's get down to business.

***Yesterday's Minor League Ball Gameday thread.

***September stretch run promotions are beginning. Three big names we know about so far: Billy Hamilton for the Cincinnati Reds, Nick Castellanos for the Detroit Tigers, and Michael Choice for the Oakland Athletics are getting the call. Reds manager Dusty Baker had some interesting things to say about Hamilton and September promotions in general.

"I was impressed with the young man in Spring Training, and I followed him during the year," Baker said. "It looks like he improved. I'll use him as I see fit. He's not going to be Herb Washington. I can use him a lot of places, especially when we lack speed. One thing we lack, we lack speed. He can pinch-run for about half the guys on the team. I was in that position three times before I got to stick to the big leagues. I've been where he's been. The experience of being here and learning here puts you on an accelerated curve for once you get here. The hardest thing about being here is feeling like you belong. Once you get past the lights, past the lifestyle and everything -- from Mississippi to the big leagues is a long ways."

Hamilton ended up hitting .256/.308/.343 in 123 games for Triple-A Louisville, stealing 75 bases in 90 attempts. The good news is that he adapted well defensively in the outfield. The bad news is that his walk rate was less than half what it was last year, he lost 30 points of Isolated Power, and worries that his bat wouldn't hold up against advanced pitching look valid.

***Nick Castellanos hit .276/.343/.450 for Triple-A Toledo. I'll get him on the Prospect of the Day list. Michael Choice hit .302/.390/.445 for Triple-A Sacramento. We covered him as Prospect of the Day back on August 15th.

***Texas Rangers slugging prospect Joey Gallo hit his 40th home run of the season yesterday.

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