Kansas City Royals: Tim Hill finding dominant form in September

KC Royals, Tim Hill (Photo by John Sleezer/Getty Images)
KC Royals, Tim Hill (Photo by John Sleezer/Getty Images) /

It seems like Tim Hill has been really good for the Kansas City Royals lately, but a closer look at his numbers shows that he’s been utterly dominant.

As a starter at Bacone College, Tim Hill was very good in 24 starts (25 appearances) and tossed 157.0 innings while striking out 102 batters to the tune of 2.12 ERA. He landed into the laps of the Kansas City Royals in the 32nd round of the 2014 MLB Draft and they felt he would be better served as a bullpen arm.

His submarine delivery is not sustainable to make it in the big leagues as a starter for the next 15 years.  Add to that his fastball tops out at 90 mph and he primarily just has two pitchers with the slider being the other. Hill has been used sparingly this season when compared to last season; just 39 appearances in 2019 versus 70 last year.

The trouble is, he puts together a strong month and then next month, it all falls apart. For example, Hill made 11 appearances in the month of July and sun a 2.16 ERA in 8.1 innings of work while striking out 7 batters and allowing just 2 earned runs.

Flip the calendar to August and he gave up 7 earned runs in 13.1 innings with 12 strikeouts to go along with a 4.73 ERA. However, he’s been arguably the best he’s ever been in this final month of the 2019 season. Hill has made 6 appearances while tossing 4.2 innings and not allowing any runs to go along with 7 strikeouts to just 1 walk.

He really started to find his dominant form at the end of August. In fact, in his last 15 games, Hill has tossed 13.0 innings while allowing 5 earned runs, 15 strikeouts and just 3 walks. Command will always be the key to Hill’s success and having just 1 walk this month is extremely encouraging.

Making three straight appearances in the series against the White Sox, Hill was useful in the LOOGY role, tossing 1.2 innings and getting 4 keys strikeouts. If you recall in the final game of that series, Hill came into the game replacing start Jorge Lopez and struck out both Danny Mendick and Adam Engel to end the White Sox threat.

Next. Making the case to sign Gerrit Cole in free agency. dark

The 29-year old could be a valuable asset out of the bullpen next season, but it will all hinge on him limiting the number of free passes to develop some consistency from month-to-month.