MLB Draft: Detroit Tigers Squeeze Value Out of First Round Picks

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Mar 29, 2015; Clearwater, FL, USA; A general view of a Detroit Tigers hat, glove and sunglasses in the dugout against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2014 MLB Draft

Derek Hill, OF – Elk Grove High School

The Detroit Tigers broke the mold in 2014 with their selection of center fielder Derek Hill with the overall pick number 23. The pick meant they would stay away from pitching in the first round entirely for the first time since their selection of Cameron Maybin in 2005. The only other position player drafted by the Tigers in the first round of the last ten drafts was Nick Castellanos in 2010, but the Tigers had a second first round selection that year and they made sure to grab a pitcher with it.

Hill, who is just 19 years old, is currently stationed in low-A with the West Michigan Whitecaps. He’s been showing off his speed with 19 stolen bases in 39 games, but he’s having some difficulty adjusting to professional pitching. Hill is hitting just .231/.299/.281 through his first 178 plate appearances. That’s not strong, but he’s quite young for the level so patience should be urged.

Hill entered the 2015 season ranked as the #4 prospect in the Tigers’ system by Baseball America (#3 if you slid him up following the Devon Travis trade). The FanGraphs scouting report on Hill lists his major league ETA as 2018.

Here was’s 2014 draft profile video on Hill:

Next: 2013 MLB Draft: Jonathon Crawford, SP