The catch of MLB’s restart belongs to Derek Hill so far.
If you missed web gems as much as we did, then prepare to be amazed. In a Detroit Tigers intrasquad game on Wednesday, outfielder Derek Hill chased down a fly ball off the bat of a teammate, eventually coming down with a circus catch that may or may not have actually counted in real game action. You’ll see what we mean.
If that counts, it has to be a catch of the year candidate, right? Hill was running in the opposite direction, deflected the ball over his shoulder and then finally grabbed it with his bare hand when all hope was lost. The 24-year-old can field his position, to say the least.
Derek Hill’s grab might have been catch of the year, and the season hasn’t even started yet.
Hill isn’t on the Tigers top-30 prospects list despite never playing in a Major League game. He’ll get his chance in 2020, as he’s one of nine outfielders Detroit will rely upon. Al Avila, for one, insists his squad is not in a rebuilding phase anymore, and that they hope to contend in a season that ought to be wide open. What role Hill plays into that remains to be seen, but if he can continue to prove himself as a capable glove in center, perhaps Ron Gardenhire can find a place for him as a late-game defensive replacement. In the minors, Hill registered a career .243 batting average, which suggests Detroit likes him for his glove. Ironically enough, he’s already proven Avila right, should that be the case.
Even if Hill should accomplish nothing else in a short year, he’s already given fans a glimpse of what (we hope) they can expect moving forward, and a reminder of what we missed the most about the boys of summer.