Round 4, Pick 110 – Adam Hill, RHP
Ht: 6’6″ Wt: 185 DOB: 3/24/97 (21)
School: University of South Carolina (Junior)
2016: 14 G, 14 GS, 7-0 W/L, 66.0 IP, 3.53 ERA, 28/72 BB/K, 1.16 WHIP, 2.57 K/BB
2017: 14 G, 14 GS, 3-6 W/L, 77.0 IP, 3.04 ERA, 39/87 BB/K, 1.23 WHIP, 2.23 K/BB
2018: 15 G, 15 GS, 7-5 W/L, 79.0 IP, 3.99 ERA, 50/98 BB/K, 1.30 WHIP, 1.96 K/BB
Totals: 43 G, 43 GS, 17-11 W/L, 222.0 IP, 3.52 ERA, 117/257 BB/K, 1.24 WHIP
Hill’s been known to scouts for a while, having been selected by the Padres in the 39th round of the 2015. Rather than sign with San Diego, he opted to go to South Carolina, where he has thrived for the past three years. Hill concluded his collegiate career with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. After flirting with a couple of no-hitters earlier in the spring, he was thought to be a possible first-round talent, but an uneven end to the spring sent his draft stock plunging. Although he fared poorly in his 2018 campaign, the Mets believed in the 21-year-old enough to select him 110th overall.
Hill signed for $507,800, slot value for a fourth round pick. He’s been consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top college pitchers this year. Baseball America (81) was more bullish on Hill while MLB.com (139) lauds the hurler for his quality off-speed pitches.
Hill uses his 6’5” frame well to create an effective downhill slope for his pitches. He brings his front leg up quickly and rears back to deliver the baseball, releasing it from a high 3/4 arm slot. However, that delivery has led to some command issues as evident by his 5.70 BB/9 with the Gamecocks this year. Although his strikeouts have increased every year, so have his walks, which is a concerning trend that he will need to fix.
Hill has three effective pitches and at least two have shown promise to be considered plus pitches in the future. His fastball sits comfortably between 90 and 93 mph, with sinking action. On occasion, it features arm-side run inside to right-handed batters. However, as his outings stretch into the later innings, its velocity and effectiveness decreases.
His mid-80’s slider is considered to be his best off-speed pitch as it dives away from the zone late. His repertoire rounds out with a changeup that has rarely been used, but has potential. He’ll need to work on his consistency and location to fulfill his ceiling of a mid-rotation-starter.
Hill’s an intriguing case. If he can iron out his control issues and trust his off-speed pitches more, he could stick as a starter long-term. However, if his consistency never develops and he’s never able to lower his walk totals, he’ll profile as a middle reliever.