Derek Hill is going to fight for a role with the Detroit Tigers in 2022

(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers do not know when they will get back on the field again. Spring Training is scheduled to start in a few days though that seems like a long shot. With the way things have been going, that’s going to get pushed back, and the baseball calendar will have some question marks.

With the lockout well underway, the Detroit Tigers still need to be prepping for a return to the field at some point. Players have been finding ways to get their swings in and get their work in for when the time comes for them to return to the field once again.

One of the players that have to be looking to hit the ground running when they do return is outfielder Derek Hill. The former first-round pick of the Tigers has taken his fair share of time on his rise to the big leagues, which took six seasons, but he debuted in 2020.

It has not been the smoothest route either; having some injury issues brought him some adversity along the way. However, Hill has been in the big leagues for each of the past two seasons for stints and is looking to continue his time in the big leagues.

Detroit Tigers outfielder Derek Hill has to fight for playing time.

Hill will be vying for time in a crowded outfield that already has enough faces trying to be frequent faces. With Akil Baddoo being a breakout star for the team in 2021, he started to eat up playing time.

On top of that, Robbie Grossman will be patrolling the outfield once again in the second year of his contract. He’s been money for the Tigers and is looking to continue this once again. Hill, on the other hand, is going to be competing with Victor Reyes, Eric Haase, Harold Castro, and Willi Castro.

While Harold Castro is the team’s bench utilityman, Willi Castro has become an infield/outfield option who may get some starts out there as well. Though it seems like Hill’s biggest competition is going to be that of Reyes.

Hill’s offensive capabilities are not as exciting as some would have hoped, but he brings some stellar defense to the table and may not be worth keeping around as a defensive asset in the future. However, he is going to try and lock down a role with playing time in 2022.

He’s coming off of the 2021 season where he hit .259/.313/.389 with 14 RBI over 49 games played where he accumulated 150 plate appearances. His big-league debut in 2020 was far from trailblazing.

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Hill came into the league in 2020, where he had 12 at-bats for a .091/.167/.091 slash line. The Tigers should have high hopes for Hill in 2021, hoping he can iron things out and earn himself some playing time.