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Astros' Delino DeShields Jr. steals 101 bases in minors

By C. Trent Rosecrans | Blogger
Delino DeShields Jr.'s father stole 463 bases in the big leagues. (Getty Images)

Reds minor-leaguer Billy Hamilton finished the minor-league season with 155 steals. It's easy to overlook that 100 stolen bases is still one heck of an accomplishment at any level. In fact, before his 103-stolen base season in 2011, no minor-leaguer had stolen 100 bases since 2001. With that in mind, let's turn the spotlight over to Astros second base prospect Delino DeShields Jr., who stole two bases on Monday to finish the season with 101.

Earlier this season, I caught up with DeShields when he was playing in Lexington, Ky., for the Lexington Legends of the South Atlantic League.

"Even if he has 150 bags, it'd be cool if there would be two guys with 100 bags, that'd be special," DeShields said in July, when he had 58 stolen bases.

DeShields stole 83 bases at Lexington in 111 games before being called up to high-Class A Lancaster of the California League. In 24 games with the JetHawks, he stole 18 bases to give him 101 on the season.

DeShields hadn't stolen a base since taking No. 99 on the season on Saturday, getting caught stealing later in Saturday's game. He also was caught in his only attempt on Sunday and in his first attempt on Monday, which was Lancaster's last game of the regular season. But after drawing a walk in the seventh inning of Monday's game at High Desert, he stole second for 100 and then stole third for No. 101.

Houston's first-round pick in 2010 (No. 8 overall), DeShields hit .287/.389/.428 with 12 home runs overall, but struggled a bit at Lancaster, hitting .237/.336/.381 with two homers in his 97 at-bats there during the regular season. Lancaster is in the California League playoffs.

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