Image: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
2021 season age: 26
Contract: Pre-arb 1
Height: 6’1; Weight: 185
2020 stats: 18.1 IP, 4.91 ERA, 5.43 FIP, 16K/5BB, 1 SV, 2 HLD
2020 in review: After coming back in a big way from Tommy John surgery in the 2019 season, Hill finally had the chance to make his major league debut in 2020. It was mostly a successful debut for Hill. In his first three innings he had four strikeouts and was perfect. Three walks and a pair of homers hurt him in his next 10 innings and he walked two more and allowed two more homers in his final 4.2 innings. Like most in 2020, he struggled to find much consistency.
On the mound: On his TJ comeback, Hill was throwing 95-96 with his fastball, but in 2020 he averaged just 92.1 with it as his primary pitch. He allowed a .457 SLG against it. It has modest, rising spin. His slider is his money pitch (36% usage in 2020, 83.9mp). Batter got just two hits off of his 105 sliders thrown. His curveball is average but gets plenty of vertical drop but it had just a 26.7% whiff rate off of it.
Beyond the stats: Despite some ugly numbers, Hill, who’s always had fringe-average command, had just a 6.9% walk rate in his MLB debut. He walked between 6% and 10% in the minors, so if he can reduce that walk rate by a little more in the majors, the big hits he gave up last year will continue to be small in damage as his WHIP was below 1.00 in his debut.
2021 role: Hill was involved in a car accident over the winter and injured his wrist enough to the point of needing surgery. He’s fully healed and back on a throwing program, so he’s not yet pitching in games yet. It might be a while before he’s fully caught up. He’ll have a chance at a bullpen role yet again once he’s healthy.
Fantasy impact: Very unlikely he will provide any fantasy value as he won’t pitch out of the gate and probably isn’t ready for setup duties in 2021.