Hamilton is a 6′ 4″, 205-pound, left-handed outfielder. As a player, he’s hard to characterize beyond that, due to his utter lack of major league experience. Nevertheless, he must stay on the Reds active roster because he was acquired through the Rule V draft. At one time, Hamilton carried the dreaded “Can’t Miss Prospect” label. He was drafted out of high school by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
A back injury suffered in a car accident followed by years of alcohol and drug abuse took Hamilton out of professional baseball for years. Manager Jerry Narron has some previous experience with Hamilton which certainly played a part in the Reds’ willingness to take a chance on the guy.
Hamilton was only given permission to even participate in extended spring training with the Rays as recently as June of 2006. Prior to that, he’d been suspended since February 2004. After a few weeks working out, he got permission to appear in minor league games and appeared in 15 games for the Rays’ class A team. That was the first time he’d played professional baseball since July 2007.