"I'm just more comfortable, more relaxed," the Reds sophomore speedster said before Friday morning's workout. "I've been able to come here and not put so much pressure on myself. My work ethic is going to be the same, always, every single year. But it's more relaxing now. I come in every day being able to breathe."
The 24-year-old hit .250 as a rookie in 2014. He also finished second in the National League with 56 stolen bases. Hamilton revealed that he's working more on his bunting this spring, after registering 15 bunt hits last season. The club has given him the green light to experiment on his bunting in game action this spring.
"Bunting can be a big part of my game, which I didn't use as much as I should have last year," Hamilton said. "Bunting for base hits can get you out of different kinds of slumps and when you're not feeling good at the plate.
"If it's two outs or two strikes, this is the time to work on it," Hamilton said. "Even if it's 3-2, they gave me permission to [bunt]. It's something I might not do during the season, but you want to work on it in a game versus just here in practice."
"We're working a lot on bunting and making contact," Hamilton said Thursday. "I struck out way too much."
Hamilton did not play in winter ball for the first time as a pro. He said the focus this offseason has been on strength and conditioning.
Hamilton hit .250 as a rookie in 2014, but he hit .285 before the All-Star break and .200 after it.
"All we can do is speculate that his second half of the season was just getting used to playing in the bigs for the full season," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I certainly think strength certainly February through October is important. Getting stronger, getting re-acquainted with acumen for bunting, getting more balls hit on the ground, more hard line drives, instead of balls in the air."
Manager Bryan Price didn't rule out Hamilton for Sunday, but the outfielder is expected to remain out of the lineup. He hasn't played since Wednesday due to a concussion.
Hamilton is still dealing with a concussion. Hamilton left Wednesday's game after robbing a home run. He has not played since then. Hamilton is hitting .250/.292/.355 over 563 at-bats.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/28/2014 vs Pittsburgh|
|vs Cole (Career)||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 5 || 6 |
| 7 || 8 |
| 9 |
| 10 |
| 12 |
| 13 |
| 14 |
| 15 |
| 16 || 17 |
|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2012||AA-Pensacola Blue Wahoo||50||175||33||50||4||5||1||15||36||43||51||16||.406||.383||.286|
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