Freshman shortstop David Hamilton walked up to the batter’s box with the voice of his favorite rap artist, Kendrick Lamar, booming from the stadium speakers.
Hamilton recently changed his walkup song to his favorite track from Lamar’s new album, ‘DAMN.’
“(It is) ‘Humble,’” Hamilton said. “‘DNA’ — that one’s good, too.”
Similar to his favorite song, Hamilton has quite a humble personality, despite arguably being the best defensive player on the team this season.
Hamilton’s proficiency with the glove at shortstop played a big role in the Longhorns’ 4-1 win over UT-Arlington Tuesday. The freshman had a hand in all four of the crucial double plays that Texas turned in order to hold the Mavericks to only one run in the game.
But Hamilton lets his glove do most of the talking — he’s one of the most soft spoken players on the squad. Head coach David Pierce predicted that he could count the number of words Hamilton would say during his postgame interview on his fingers.
“I never get any words from him to me — it’s always me to him, so probably five (words),” Pierce said. “I’m serious, and that’s if I start a conversation.” Pierce was hardly exaggerating.
“This is the most I’ve talked in a long time,” Hamilton joked during his three-and-a-half minute post-game interview. Although Hamilton quietly goes about his business on the infield, he’s been under the spotlight in the Longhorn clubhouse all season and receives continuous encouragement from his veteran teammates.
“Kacy (Clemens) and Mo (Cooper) and all the seniors have helped me out tremendously throughout the season,” Hamilton said. “I haven’t been hitting that well, (but) they told me to just focus on defense, try to hit as much as you can.”
But as the No. 24 Longhorns charge their way to the postseason, Hamilton will have to confront the biggest challenge he’s faced all season: improving his offensive game.
Hamilton currently holds a .213 batting average, which has improved since the beginning of the season. But the Longhorns will need higher-quality at bats from their shortstop if they expect to score enough runs against some of the best pitchers in college baseball come playoffs.
Just like anything else, Hamilton will tackle his weaknesses with the quiet confidence he carries with him. He believes he can be successful at any level of his baseball career, regardless of which stage he plays on.
“College is just like high school or any select team — it’s baseball, just a bigger stage,” Hamilton said. “I’m just trying to do my best out here to help the team win.”