Tigers Scouting Report: OF Derek Hill

Speedy outfielder Hill is the Tigers first rounder

The Tigers used their first round in the 2014 MLB Draft to snag speedy high school outfielder Derek Hill out of Elk Grove High in California. While not heavily on the radar prior to the draft, his tools and skills were too much to pass up on. Find out why insider.

Derek Hill

Vitals

Position: Outfielder


Date of Birth: 12/30/1995
Height/Weight: 6-2/180
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: 2014 MLB Draft, 1st Round
Ranking History: N/A

Background: A speedy outfielder that impressed with his wheels and defense, was ranked 17th overall by Scout National Baseball Analyst Kiley McDaniel in the 2014 draft class. As the 23rd pick, Hill is slotted for a bonus of $1,953,100.

Scouting Report

Body: Extreme athlete; good frame; room to add muscle with pro training routine; already bulked up some over last year; premium middle-of-the-diamond body.

Hit: Polished for his age; natural feel for the barrel; makes easy contact on a variety of pitches; knows how to hit it where it is pitched; line drives to all fields; approach needs to develop against advanced arms; pitch recognition is developing and he will expand strike zone at times; potential above-average hitter that uses entire field and laces line drives; hit will take some time but feel and raw potential exist at present; approach/recognition will need to make significant strides to reach ceiling. Grade – Present 3/Future 5+

Power: Raw power has improved with additional strength over last year; won't stand out driving ball over the fence at present; can get it to the gaps right now; power is coming and could reach average level; very line drive oriented and won't loft the ball or hit towering shots; potential for 12-15 home runs and 30 doubles each season at his peak; power will come when hit tool develops. Grade – 3/4+

Speed: Best tool; impact speed; shows plus-plus run down the line; has instincts to steal bases as a pro; potential for very strong stolen base totals; can take extra bases; aggressive runner; speed plays in OF; impact tool. Grade – 7/7

Defense: Speed carries defensive profile; instincts are good but only augment speed; reads the ball well off the bat; tracks well over his head; gets to everything to either side; aggressive coming in; wants to make plays; works hard at defensive skills; tools are impressive; potential plus-plus glove that is Gold Glove candidate once established. Grade – 5+/7

Arm: Can throw enough for CF; above-average; needs consistency with mechanics; when he's right, ball comes out easy and carries well; won't hamper running game of opposition but the arm works and can catch guys napping. Grade – 5/5+

Other: Good feel for the game at his age; bloodlines; good kid; hard worker; will be MLB player regardless of offensive development.



Final Word

Summary: Impact runner and potential impact defender; arm plays wherever he ends up (likely CF); run is best tool and will be a force; has instincts for game; hit has potential but approach needs to come; power lags behind other tools and will be last to develop but average raw is in the tank; true middle of the diamond player; potential All-Star caliber player with strong likelihood that he's a solid regular.

Risk: Extreme risk; High school talent; approach needs to develop; when defense/speed play at pro level, risk could come down a grade.

Projection: Potential impact defender and runner at MLB level; will take some time to develop but won't be typical slow-moving prep prospect; GCL assignment this summer and likely West Michigan assignment in 2015; potential successor to Austin Jackson in Detroit down the line.

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