In 2010, the Mets 30th round pick was Josh Edgin – the highest numbered round thus far to make it to the majors from that draft class. The pick right before Josh was 29th round selection, LHP Hamilton Bennett, chosen 872nd overall out of South Carolina.
Hamilton has posted good numbers in his four years in the Mets organization, rising through the ranks and earning a promotion to AA Binghamton on July 13th, 2013.
2010 was Hamilton’s first year in the organization, which was spent with the Low-A Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York Penn League. In 19 appearances out of the pen, he went 2-2 with a 3.49 ERA. He pitched 28 1/2 innings, gave up 27 hits, walked 9, struck out 24 and had a WHIP of 1.27.
2011 saw Hamilton start the season with the Advanced-A St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League where he made one appearance before being sent to the Class-A Savannah of the South Atlantic League. Hamilton continued his progress and appeared in 35 games with a combined record of 2-0 and a 1.89 ERA and 14 saves. The lefthander pitched 57.0 innings and allowed 34 hits, walking 15, striking out 57 and posting a WHIP of 0.86. His 14 saves for Savannah was 2nd on the team, just behind Josh Edgin.
With a solid 2011 performance under his belt, Bennett rose another level up the ranks and spent the 2012 season at Advanced-A St. Lucie. In 41 games out of the pen, Hamilton delivered another terrific season, posting a 7-2 record with a 2.55 ERA. In 60 innings, he allowed 51 hits, walking 17 while striking out 54 with a WHIP of 1.13.
After the 2012 season, Hamilton represented team Great Britain in the World Baseball Classic Qualifier, where he made one appearance in Regensburg, Germany against Team Germany.
2013 saw Hamilton begin the season at Port St. Lucie, but his continued solid play earned him a promotion to Binghamton. At St. Lucie, he posted a 3-0 record with a 1.96 ERA and 9 saves in 38 games. After his promotion, he posted a 1-0 record with a 1.46 ERA in 8 games. Combined on the season, Hamilton appeared in 46 games with a 4-0 record and a 1.85 ERA with 9 saves. He pitched 58 1/3 innings, allowed 46 hits, walked 14 and struck out 60 with a 1.03 WHIP. It was by far the best performance of his professional career.
Hamilton has been a top performer for the Mets for four consecutive seasons now, getting better each step of the way and displaying phenomenal ability of keeping baserunners to a bare minimum. Good lefty relievers like him can have long major league careers. While he may not be on some of the top prospects lists, if he keeps on putting up numbers like he has in the minors, don’t be surprised if you see Hamilton Bennett on a major league roster someday. Follow Hamilton on Twitter at @Ham_Bone28.
Thoughts From Satish R.
I think you hit it on the head right above — “good lefty relievers like him can have long major league careers.” Bennett has the makings of a solid reliever for a long time to come, even if he is doing it while under the radar. Binghamton seemed to find ways to improve every single player, both pitchers and position players alike, due to their excellent coaching — so I hope he can take the knowledge he gained in Double-A to springboard himself to a September call-up in 2014. He’ll likely work out of the pen in Triple-A for the early party of 2014.