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Derek Hill

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Derek Jerome Hill

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Biographical Information[edit]

The son of minor leaguer Orsino Hill and a cousin of Darryl Strawberry, outfielder Derek Hill was selected by the Detroit Tigers and scout Scott Cerney in the first round of the 2014 amateur draft with the 23rd pick. He signed on June 17th and soon made his pro debut with the GCL Tigers.

He reached the majors with the Tigers towards the end of the 2020 season after spending the first month and two weeks of that season at the team's alternate training site when the minor leagues were shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic. He hit just .091 in 15 games, going 1 for 11 as he was mainly used as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement in center field. In 2021, he received a more extensive look at the big league level, hitting .259 with 3 homers and 14 RBIs in 49 games, with an OPS+ of 95. It seemed like a good base to build upon, especially with a team that was rebuilding, but he only saw very limited action over the next two seasons: 31 games and 83 at-bats with Detroit in 2022, and 13 games with the Washington Nationals in 2023. He hit .229 the first year and .170 the second after having first been claimed off waivers by the Seattle Mariners towards the end of 2022, and then signed as a free agent by Washington the following off-season.

Derek signed with the Texas Rangers before the 2024 season, and given the team had a number of young outfielders, especially with Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford, and was coming off winning the World Series, he was expected to only help out in the minors and be available in case of emergency. He started the season with the Round Rock Express of the Pacific Coast League, where he hit a scorching .350 with 8 homers in 42 games. He made a brief five-game stay with Texas in late May and early June, but only had 9 at-bats, getting a pair of hits, and was sent back to AAA. Meanwhile, Carter was struggling with the Rangers, hitting just .188 in 45 games, and on June 26th, Derek came up again. This time, he seized his chance as after hitting 4 homers in his first 113 major league games, he hit three in his next four, including a two-homer game on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" on June 30th.

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