Tigers select prep CF Derek Hill with first-round pick in MLB Draft
|Photo courtesy of MLB|
Derek Hill (front) and his mother share a moment of happiness
after the Tigers picked Hill 23rd overall in Thursday's
first round of the draft.
He did not hesitate in his answer, naming Detroit Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter, the nine-time Gold Glove winner.
When — and if — Hill signs, he’ll be in the same organization.
The Tigers selected the speedster from Elk Grove High School in California with the 23rd pick in the first round of the MLB Draft.
A University of Oregon recruit, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Hill is one of the fastest players in the draft, running a sub-6.4-second 60-yard dash, and is the best defensive outfielder. His father, Orsino, a former minor-league player, is an area scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“My dad tells me to be humble and to appreciate this,” Hill told the Sacramento Bee. “I’ve been around the game my entire life, so I know how to act, what to say. It was a little more nerve-wracking at first for games but I just did the best I could, but it’s been an absolute blast. We’re almost there. Can’t wait.”
Several of the Tigers’ other favorite prospects — UNLV starter Erick Fedde, Virginia closer Nick Howard, TCU lefty Brandon Finnegan, Wichita St. first baseman Casey Gillaspie — went in the picks right before Detroit’s.
The Tigers have only drafted 23rd overall once before, in 1979, selecting Livonia High’s Chris Baker, as a compensatory pick for losing free agent Jim Slaton to the Brewers.
Detroit picks next at No. 63 in the second round. [UPDATED STORY]