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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Bobby Hill

By Robert Sherry

Bobby Hill: A former star infielder for the Miami Hurricanes, Hill was originally selected by the Chicago White Sox in the second round of the 1999 draft but held out and never signed. Hill took a route similar to that of J.D. Drew as he signed with the Independent League's Newark team. You would have expected Hill to excel in this type of league and he did during the 2000 for the Bears, batting .326 with 13 home runs, 82 runs batted, 22 doubles, 9 triples,109 runs scored, 101 walks, 57 strikeouts, and 81 stolen bases in 481 at-bats.   The Chicago Cubs gambled on selecting Hill in the 2000 draft, also in the second round, but unlike their cross-town rivals, the Cubs were able to get Hill locked up.

Since the Cubs already have a shortstop prospect like Luis Montanez, Hill's future will most likely be at second base in the majors. At 5-foot-10 170 pounds, this switch-hitter Hill could develop into a great leadoff man for the Cubs. He has a very good eye at the plate, makes consistent contact, is willing to take walks, and runs the bases well.
His stats were probably inflated in 2000 due to the quality of talent he faced on a daily basis, but Hill should still become a very good major leaguer. I don't see him stealing 80+ bases, but he will be a dangerous threat on the bases for opposing teams. His homer total and average will probably be within the range that he posted at Newark. You can't expect him to have twice as many walks as strikeouts, that number Hill posted is amazing.

Currently Hill has begun his trip to the majors at Double-A West Tenn. Being that he was originally drafted in 1999 and had yet to face the type of competition he will in the Southern League, I don't think it would have been that surprising to see him have some struggles early on in the season. Instead though, Hill has gotten off to a great start (.378, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 10 R, 4 2B, 9 BB, 10 SO, 7 SB, 45 AB) and looks like he could possibly be a starter in the majors come Opening Day, 2002. Similar to the Yankees first base job next season, the Cubs have a free agent to be in Eric Young at second base so it is very unlikely they will give him a multi-year deal when the have Hill waiting in the wings. Within a few years, the Cubs could have one of the best young starting infield's in baseball with the likes of Hill, Montanz, and Choi. Then consider Hill leading off in front of those players plus Patterson, and it's possible the Cubs will finally have that young nucleus to build a contender around.


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