(from Vanderbilt's official site)
MiLB Vanderbilt Bio
Sean's One sentence analysis: Hill has decent stuff and control and could make it as either a back-of-the-rotation starter or a solid middle reliever.
Thoughts from the community:
"Hill began the season in the Auburn bullpen but finished in the rotation, posting a losing record (0-2) but strong peripherals (0.9BB, 7.8K, 9:1 K:BB) in limited innings (31.1 IP). Throws a SI/SL/CH combo and gets a lot of grounders. Current velocity is 88-92, but scouts like his size and believe there’s room for improvement." - Luke Erickson, Nationals Prospects (@nats_prospects)
"Hill has been a fixture in the middle of Vanderbilt's weekend rotation for the past couple of years. Unlike most bearing that title, he does not have an impact arm. Hill is a big, durable starter who will control an array of average pitches and chew up innings. Whether he has enough swing and miss in his arsenal to ultimately crack a major league rotation is still up in the air. Hill should move quickly and be ready to provide value in whatever role the Nationals need him to fill: back end starter, swing man, or middle reliever." - Jeff Reese, Bullpen Banter (@ioffridus)
Previous analysis and notes:
Drafted in the 30th round by the Indians last year. Hill was listed as the 173rd best player in the draft by Baseball America. Looks like a solid arm with the ability to make it as a middle reliever.
Nats.com Roundup: "Hill improved his Draft stock with his senior season at Vanderbilt after the Indians took him in the 30th round last year. Hill started 16 games and went 5-1 with a 2.84 ERA for the Commodores."
From John Sickels, Minor League Ball, 6/14/2011: "88-92 sinker, good slider and changeup, throws strikes, knows how to pitch. Possible fourth starter but a nice value selection."
From A Scout's View, 6/7/2011: "A bit of a slinger, good arm strength and will show you a 92-93 on occasion...pitches well down in the zone and around 90-91...fb up tends to straighten out and slider piece is just ok...command and control are good enough to be a good middle guy in the ML or a poor man's 5th man in the ML rotation...doesn't have any real knock out pitch, but he gets people out."
From John Klima, Baseball Beginnings, 3/12/2010: "Hill should have more power than he does now. That’s the factor that might help make Hill a better pro than a college pitcher. He has a barrel chest and broad shoulders and average arm speed, but with the proper combination of conditioning and instruction, he could be a better pro than the draft round he will likely fall in. In other words, he’s a tweener, but there might be more to work with than meets the eye....he won’t blow anyone away despite a frame that indicates there should be more power, but an improved change-up should help level that playing field. Right now I would conclude Hill has a touch more power than he is presently showing, but that alone will not make for enough power. His control and command on all pitches is serviceable enough to where Hill could be a decent guy if he can find a touch more power and a signature secondary pitch. Conclusion: This is a good draft pick to send to a good pro pitching coach."
From Jeff Ellis, Indians Prospect Insider, 6/8/2010: "Taylor Hill is the definition of a team player; he has pitched all over in the pen and as a starter. He seems destined for the pen where he excelled a year ago in the Cape. He has done well this year as a starter, but the previous two years had been solid but unimpressive. Hill has 2 plus pitches with a fastball that has good sink that is in the low 90’s. This pitch is offset by his low 80’s slider which also grades out as plus. He has a changeup in the high 70’s, but it is his weakest pitch by far. His mechanics need cleaned up, but he has the big body and durability you would want in a pitcher. He was rated as a Top 200 player by PGCrosschecker (in 2010)."
Hill signed with the Nats on July 14, 2011.