Aaron Hill
Aaron Hill swinging at a pitch in 2009.jpg
Hill with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009
Second baseman
Born: (1982-03-21) March 21, 1982 (age 40)
Visalia, California
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 20, 2005, for the Toronto Blue Jays
Last MLB appearance
June 23, 2017, for the San Francisco Giants
MLB statistics
Batting average.266
Home runs162
Runs batted in695
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Aaron Walter Hill (born March 21, 1982) is an American former professional baseball second baseman. Hill was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round (13th overall) of the 2003 MLB draft and made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut with them in 2005. He also played for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants. Hill is one of only five players in MLB history to hit for the cycle twice in one season.

Early life

At age 15, Hill and friends were participating in a soccer tournament in Park City, Utah. While on their way to a round of golf, a college student narrowly missed Hill's car and slammed into his mother's car following behind him. Hill's mother, Vicki, was killed as a result.[1]

College career

Hill was originally drafted by the Anaheim Angels in the seventh round (200th overall) of the 2000 MLB draft.[2] Hill turned down the offer, opting to attend Louisiana State University and play for the varsity Tigers baseball team. While at LSU, Hill posted a career .335 batting average with 23 home runs and 150 RBIs. In 2001, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod Baseball League, and was named a league all-star and the playoff MVP of Wareham's league championship team.[3][4][5]

Professional career

Toronto Blue Jays

Hill was Toronto's first draft pick (13th overall) in the 2003 MLB draft,[6] and he made his major league debut on May 20, 2005 against the Washington Nationals, after being called up from the minor leagues a day earlier as an injury replacement for Corey Koskie. Hill would finish the game 2-for-4, and he recorded an RBI triple off Nationals pitcher Claudio Vargas for his first career hit as the Blue Jays won, 6–1.[7] Although he was brought up as a shortstop, Hill appeared as a third baseman, a designated hitter, and as a second baseman during the course of the season. He finished the 2005 season with a .274 batting average, .348 OBP, and 25 doubles in 361 at-bats. After the trade of Orlando Hudson to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Hill became the starting second baseman for the Blue Jays in 2006, but was moved back to shortstop mid-season after the demotion of Russ Adams. After experiencing defensive struggles at shortstop, he was then moved back to second base, with John McDonald taking over at shortstop.

On May 29, 2007, in a game at home against the New York Yankees with Andy Pettitte pitching, Hill became only the second player in Blue Jays history to accomplish a "straight steal" of home.[8]

Hill won a Fielding Bible Award at second base for his fielding excellence in 2007.[9]

On April 4, 2008, Hill agreed to a four-year, $12 million deal that included a club option that could have run through the 2014 season.[10] The contract would have been worth as much as $38 million if Toronto kept Hill in the fold for all seven years of the deal.

On May 29, Hill suffered a Grade II concussion in a collision with teammate David Eckstein during a game against the Oakland Athletics.[11] Hill missed the remainder of the season.

Hill returned from his concussion during spring training. On July 5, 2009, Hill was selected by managers and players to take part in the All-Star Game in St. Louis. Hill finished the 2009 season with 37 doubles, 36 home runs, 108 runs batted in, and a batting average of .286 in 158 games.[12] After the season, Hill received the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award.[13] He was voted the Blue Jays Player of the Year. He was also honored with his second Fielding Bible Award.[14]

Prior to the first game of the 2011 season, the Blue Jays announced that they had declined the three option years on Hill's contract.[15] Hill was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 24, retroactive to April 20, with a strained hamstring.[16]

Arizona Diamondbacks

Hill with the Arizona Diamondbacks
Hill with the Arizona Diamondbacks

On August 23, 2011, Hill and John McDonald were traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for second baseman Kelly Johnson.[17] Hill hit his first home run as a Diamondback on August 28 against the San Diego Padres, a two-run shot to right field off starter Cory Luebke.[18]

In Game 4 of the 2011 NLDS, Hill hit his first postseason home run. The Diamondbacks would, however, lose the division series to the Milwaukee Brewers in 5 games.

After the 2011 season, the Diamondbacks resigned Hill to a two-year, $11 million contract extension.[19]

On April 7, 2012, Hill, who got moved up in the order to the #2 spot, went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI and two home runs against the Giants in the first and second innings, both off of Madison Bumgarner. This came after going 0-for-4 on Opening Day while hitting eighth. The D-Backs went on to win 5–4.[20]

On June 18, 2012, Hill hit for the cycle against the Seattle Mariners.[21] On June 29, 2012, Hill again hit for the cycle against the Milwaukee Brewers, becoming the first player to hit for the cycle twice in one season since Babe Herman in 1931 for the Brooklyn Robins and the first modern-era player to do so in the same month (John Reilly hit cycles a week apart in 1883).[22]

Milwaukee Brewers

On January 30, 2016, Hill was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers along with Chase Anderson, Isan Diaz, and cash considerations for Jean Segura and Tyler Wagner.[23] On May 7, 2016, Hill had a career day at the plate hitting three home runs and driving in seven runs. His home runs included a game-tying home run in the eighth inning and a go-ahead grand slam in the tenth inning. Hill had only hit three home runs in his previous 82 games at the time.[24]

Boston Red Sox

On July 7, 2016, the Brewers traded Hill to the Boston Red Sox for Aaron Wilkerson and Wendell Rijo.[25]

San Francisco Giants

On February 17, 2017, Hill signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants.[26] Through 80 plate appearances, Hill managed just a .132 batting average with a home run, 7 RBI, and a strikeout to walk ratio of 13/11.[12] He was designated for assignment on June 24,[27] and was released five days later.[12]

Awards

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See also

References

  1. ^ "Visalia Women Apparently Didn't Have Chance in Crash". NewsBank. June 26, 1997. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  2. ^ "7th Round of the 2000 MLB June Amateur Draft". Baseball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 2009-12-27. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  3. ^ "2001 Wareham Gatemen". The Baseball Cube. Archived from the original on 2021-08-07. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  4. ^ "West Division All Stars". capecodbaseball.org. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  5. ^ "Wareham Crowned CCBL Champs". Cape Cod Baseball League. August 12, 2001. Archived from the original on 2019-12-25. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  6. ^ "2003 MLB Baseball Draft Results". ESPN. Archived from the original on 2020-06-06. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  7. ^ "Wells launches two home runs against Washington". ESPN. Associated Press. May 20, 2005. Archived from the original on 2021-12-26. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  8. ^ Kelly, Cathal (May 30, 2007). "Mad dash home a thrill for Hill". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 30, 2007.
  9. ^ "The 2007 Awards". The Fielding Bible. Archived from the original on November 10, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
  10. ^ "Rios' $69.8M deal finalized; Jays also agree to four-year deal with Hill". ESPN. Associated Press. April 4, 2008. Archived from the original on 2020-10-25. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  11. ^ "Hill struggles to cope with effects of concussion". The Globe and Mail. June 12, 2008. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  12. ^ a b c "Aaron Hill Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 2009-04-10. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  13. ^ "Carpenter, Hill voted comeback players of year". ESPN. Associated Press. October 5, 2009. Archived from the original on 2021-02-26. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  14. ^ "The 2009 Awards". The Fielding Bible. Archived from the original on November 5, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
  15. ^ "Blue Jays decline three option years on Hill's contract". TSN. April 1, 2011. Archived from the original on April 5, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  16. ^ "Blue Jays put Hill on 15-day disabled list, call up Litsch". TSN. The Canadian Press. April 24, 2011. Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  17. ^ Nightengale, Bob (August 23, 2011). "Diamondbacks acquire Aaron Hill and John McDonald to help offense". USA Today. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  18. ^ "Diamondbacks beat Padres for sixth straight win". ESPN. Associated Press. August 28, 2011. Archived from the original on 2021-12-26. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  19. ^ Bloom, Barry M.; Gilbert, Steve (November 15, 2011). "D-backs, Hill finalize two-year contract". Arizona Diamondbacks. MLB.com. Archived from the original on November 17, 2011. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  20. ^ "Diamondbacks Beat Giants, 5-4". KPIX-TV. April 7, 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-12-11. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  21. ^ "Aaron Hill's cycle lifts D'backs over Mariners". USA Today. Associated Press. June 19, 2012. Archived from the original on June 19, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  22. ^ Gilbert, Steve (June 30, 2012). "Hill first with two cycles in a season since '31". MLB.com. Archived from the original on July 3, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
  23. ^ McCalvy, Adam (January 30, 2016). "Brewers, D-backs strike 5-player deal". MLB.com. Archived from the original on 2016-01-31. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  24. ^ "Aaron Hill hits 3 HRs, including grand slam, as Brewers beat Reds". Fox Sports. May 8, 2016. Archived from the original on 2021-01-25. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  25. ^ Mastrodonato, Jason (July 7, 2016). "Red Sox acquire infielder Aaron Hill from Brewers in exchange for prospects". Boston Herald. Archived from the original on 2021-12-26. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  26. ^ "Giants sign veteran infielder Aaron Hill to a minor league contract". ESPN. Associated Press. February 17, 2017. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  27. ^ "Giants' Aaron Hill: DFA'd on Saturday". CBS Sports. June 24, 2017. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
Achievements Preceded byScott HairstonHimself Hitting for the cycle June 18, 2012June 29, 2012 Succeeded byHimselfAdrián Beltré