Timothy Hill Has Become an Interesting Prospect

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It is difficult to think of a 24 year old with only half a season of minor league experience as a potential prospect. It is even more difficult to think of that player as a prospect when they are over two years above the average age of the levels that they performed in. Yet, Timothy Hill may be on the verge of putting himself on the map as an intriguing player to watch in the coming years.

Hill, who was drafted in the 32nd round of this past year’s MLB Amateur Draft, wasted little time in making an impression upon the minor leagues. striking out twelve batters in his 7.2 innings for the Idaho Falls Chukars. Promoted to the Lexington Legends, Hill continued his impressive performance, eventually settling in as the Legends closer. Overall for his 2014 minor league campaign, Hill posted a 3-1 record with a 1.64 ERA, 0.727 WHiP and eight saves. He struck out 30 batters in 22 innings, while issuing only nine walks.

Not only does Timothy Hill have a solid strikeout rate, but he was a ground ball machine in the minors last year as well. Using a delivery that is somewhere between sidearm and a three quarters arm slot, Hill managed to induce a ground ball on 55.8% of balls put in play against him last season. Should that ground ball rate remain steady as Hill climbs the minor league ladder, he could become an intriguing option in the bullpen.

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Given his delivery, ground ball throwing nature and the fact that he is a lefty, it seems very unlikely that Hill will remain a closer through the minors. Despite his success in that role, albeit in a small sample size, left handed relievers, especially with that type of delivery, tend to get pigeonholed as lefty specialists. Should Hill reach the upper levels, that may end up being what he sees his role morph into.

There is still quite a long way to go before Timothy Hill would be promoted to the majors. However, given that he will turn 25 before pitchers and catchers report, the Royals may look to put him on an accelerated pace. With that performance last year, it may not be surprising if Hill starts off in Wilmington, and could end up in either Northwest Arkansas or Omaha if he continues to perform well. It may be a stretch to imagine that Hill would be a part of the Royals bullpen at any point in 2015, but he may be able to reach the majors the following year.

Timothy Hill is an unheralded prospect who may turn out to be much better than his draft position. His performance last year certainly has him on the right track.

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