The Detroit Tigers selected OF Derek Hill with the 23rd selection in the 2014 MBL Draft. The pick represents a departure form the normal Dave Dombrowski strategy of drafting a power pitcher. Instead Dombrowksi went with a high school player (considered by some the best high school player in the draft) with a ton of upside.
Derek Hill played center field at Elk Grove High School in California. His game is perfect for Comerica Park. He is a line drive hitter with a ton of speed. Speed he can use both on the base paths and covering the vast expanse of center field at the Copa. Hill also has great bat speed and could develop some power in the minors.
MLB Network compared Derek Hill to Torii Hunter who also happens to be his favorite player. Ironic because Hill could be replacing Torii in the line-up when his contract expires.
Here is the scouting report from MLB.com
He also has a solid arm, stronger than most at his position. An Oregon recruit, Hill has offensive potential as well. With his wheels, bat speed, line-drive swing and mature approach, he should have no trouble hitting for average. He also displays some gap power, with the potential for perhaps more once he adds strength.
Derek Hill also has baseball in his blood. His father was a minor leaguer and his cousin is none other than Daryl Strawberry. In an interview following his selection, Derek Hill said he spoke to his legendary cousin who told him he was “next in line”.
The last center fielder to rise out of the Tigers farm system was Curtis Granderson. If Derek Hill can produce anything like that the Tigers would have done quite well with this pick.