AMSTERDAM – When the Major League amateur baseball draft came and went back in June without Chris Hamilton seeing his name, the former Schalmont High School multi-sport standout knew what his next move would be.
“I am going to go back for one more year,” Hamilton said before his Albany Dutch took on the Glens Falls Independents Wednesday in an Independent Collegiate Baseball League doubleheader at Shuttleworth Park. “I’ll be heading out in mid-August.”
That would be back to Stony Brook University, where the slugging first baseman will play the senior year that was mostly wiped out several months ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That extra season was granted to spring sport college athletes by the NCAA on March 30.
“We’ve got a lot of seniors coming back and some good freshmen coming in,” Hamilton said. “It should be good. I’m going to try to help us win.”
Impressing pro scouts with big numbers is also part of his plan, numbers like he delivered as an all-conference first-team junior when he batted .325 in 52 starts at first base with eight home runs and 42 RBIs.
“Everyone was shocked I didn’t have my name called,” Hamilton said of the 2019 Major League amateur baseball draft.
Hamilton was batting .298 with a homer and four RBIs through 15 games when his senior season was called off.
“I was starting to get into a groove,” the 6-foot-2, 220-pound lefty said. “I felt good heading into conference play, and it got canned.”
Hamilton again believed he would get drafted, but that hope waned when Major League owners decided to trim the June 10-11 draft from 40 to five rounds in order to limit spending during the coronavirus shutdown.
“I was honestly hoping to get drafted,” said Hamilton. “Once they cut it from 40 rounds to five, it was tough for me.”
So it’s back to Stony Brook, where Hamilton has earned a business management degree, and where he will be involved in a coaching certification program in his final year there.
“I want to get into coaching. I’ve been around it my whole life,” said Hamilton, who excelled in baseball as well as soccer while at Schalmont. “It will be a good thing to have on my resume.”
Hamilton said he is grateful to have an opportunity to play in the ICBL, a four-team, 30-game league that was formed after the leveling out of the coronavirus in upstate New York to give guys an opportunity to get reps in game situations. Earlier in the year both the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League and the Albany Twilight League canceled their seasons.
“It’s good to get back out there and compete with guys I know from high school and college,” Hamilton said. “It’s great that they put this together.”
“I’d probably be hitting three or four times a week,” Hamilton said. “I probably would have called up some guys and asked them to do some live pitching. It would have been different for sure.”
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