– Derek Hill dove headfirst into the Perfect Game rankings at the
Metrodome today. That’s not a figure of speech, either. Hill’s
incredible diving catch in right-center field today at the Perfect
Game National Showcase that took away a sure extra-base hit got
everyone asking, “Who is Derek Hill?”
from an unknown (currently ranked No. 61 in PG's class of 2014
rankings), Hill is a gamer on the diamond who models his play after
All-Star outfielders Torii Hunter and Adam Jones.
Hunter is probably my favorite outfielder and then Adam Jones at the
dish is pretty electric,” said Hill of his favorite big-leaguers.
there may be a kid who models his game after Derek hill, who seems to
make improbable catches look pretty routine.
Hill made noise today with his outfield acrobatics, it looked like
just about every scout in the stands took out their pens and circled
Hill’s name. One scout, however, wasn’t surprised at what he had
witnessed. Los Angeles Dodgers scout, Orsino Hill, Derek’s father,
has seen even better catches made routinely by his son.
a Gold Glove guy and what I thought was, ‘Okay, now they’ve seen
what I’ve seen,’” said Hill’s father. “It was one of his
good catches, but, trust me when I say this, I’ve seen better."
was a pretty good catch, but I got a little more in the bag,” said the younger Hill, also responding to the catch.
mentioned his popularity on YouTube, where he has a good collection
of videos displaying his finest moments in the outfield. He was
right. The catch today was good, but he’s made even better ones.
one against Valley Christian,” Hill said of his most memorable
catch. “It was a 1-1 game and it would’ve been a triple into the
gap and I just laid out for it.”
to admit coming from a guy who spent 12 years in the minor leagues,
covering the grounds in right field, Orsino had a different answer to
had to admit, one catch he made in the Scott Boras tournament I was
like, ‘I couldn’t make that catch.’ A lot of my scout
co-workers were there and a lot of cross checkers and national guys,
and they were like, ‘That’s one of the best catches I’ve ever
was in the right-center field gap and he went to the left-center
field gap and he caught it backhanded about two inches off the
ground, laid out.”
wanted to put myself on the map officially because I’ve been going
to different tournaments, but I haven’t gone to any PG
(showcases),” Hill said, doing his best to keep a straight face,
still excited about his performance over the last three days.
only did Hill display his range, he also showed he has outstanding
tools with the glove and the bat. Hill ran a 6.44-second 60-yard
dash, was clocked throwing 92 mph from the outfield, and took a 93
mph fastball to the right-center field gap for a stand-up triple in
his third and final game.
is in the bloodlines. Not only did Orsino play professionally, but
Derek is also cousins with eight-time all-star and four-time World
Series champion Darryl Strawberry.
has received great guidance and support from his family throughout
his years on the diamond, but it’s the advice that Orsino has been
able to give Derek from real-life experience that is invaluable.
thing that I tell him (Derek) every day is, ‘Just go out and play.
It’s a beautiful game,” Hill's father said. “Don’t get
wrapped up in anything but enjoying to play.’
I tell Derek is, ‘Enjoy the game, at the core you have to enjoy
what you do. Don’t fall in love with the lifestyle. Don’t get
distracted by the attention.’ I played 12 years, and I blinked my
eyes and it was over.”
benefits of coming from a family with a strong baseball background
have also helped Hill get notice from his dad’s favorite team and
current employer, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
has been coming to our pre-draft workouts since he was 15,” said
Hill’s father. “Tommy (Lasorda) loves Derek.”
stage is set, and all the stars are aligning for the young Derek
Hill. It is very realistic to imagine that someday Hill will be
roaming the outfield of Dodger Stadium, wearing the Dodger blue and
white. Whether or not that happens, Hill will be protecting someone’s
home turf from extra-base hits like he did at the Metrodome.