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Top Prospect Alert - Koyie Hill

By Robert Sherry

Koyie Hill: Possibly the best defense third baseman in college baseball last season, you wouldn't expect someone like Hill to have to find a new permanent position with the type of resume he has. Yet, with Adrian Beltre entrenched at that position in L.A., Hill's future will be at the other position he played in college, catcher.

Besides his excellent defense, Hill has shown that his hitting ability is not that far behind at Wichita State. He debuted in the Northwest League after the Dodgers selected him in the fourth round (#11 overall) of last year's draft. While playing for Yakima, Hill batted .259 with two home runs, 29 runs batted in, 13 doubles, one triple, 26 runs scored, 25 walks, and 47 strikeouts in 251 at-bats. He spent time playing both third and catcher before making the permanent move for the 2001 season. Currently, you will find Hill behind the plate for the Wilmington Waves. He has gotten off to a great start through the early part of the season at the plate, hitting an impressive .377 through 38 games (3 HR, 23 RBI, 10 2B, 27 R, 9 BB, 15 SO, 7 SB). So far, he has committed five errors behind the plate.

At 6-feet and 190 pounds, this 22-year-old right-handed batter could move quick as long as he can make a quick adjustment to his position. The Dodgers have Paul LoDuca and Angel Pena as their top options behind the plate, so I would favor Hill future potential over both of them. He won't hit 30 homers, but instead should become a gap/doubles hitter capable of hitting double digit homers for L.A. Add in a strong average as well.

If he can keep hitting at the pace he has so far this season, you could think of seeing him playing at Double-A come the end of this year. If so, that means Hill could be in line to make it to the majors late next season. The Dodgers farm system as fallen off in recent years compared to their success in the early-to-mid-90s when they had run of ROY winners so they need the quality everyday prospects that they have to develop.


 

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