Aaron Hill is Ridiculously Underrated
You draft an infielder in the first round. He soars through the minor leagues. Rushed into the big show due to injuries, he tears up the league and then comes back to earth with a respectable .274 average. You jerk him around the next year, tell him to learn a position he has never played, and he responds with some of the best defence in the major leagues and a .291 average instead of the dreaded sophmore slump. He hits 28 doubles, steals and HR’s half a dozen in his first full season. What do normal baseball towns do? Pencil him in for the next decade. Name streets after him. Prepare for him to bloom into an all-star with feverish anticipation.
What do we do? Call our infield triangle the “weakest among AL contenders“; rank it next to the bottom and declare it’s why we “cannot and will not compete“. Caveat every single defensive play on he makes on TV and radio with “well, he’s no Orlando Hudson, but…”; Attempt to sign Adam “really not much better than average” Kennedy.
No, he’s not going to hit .400 or the 35 HR’s he’s projected to this season. And the O-dog is still a better defender. But the kid is 25, a legit .300 hitter, is making fantastic plays at second and only getting better and developing power. We are paying him a measly 400 grand right now and he gets zero attention even though he’s a rising star because apparently middle infielders these days have to hit jacks. In hopes and recognition that he continues to be the rock we need up the middle (and in a premptive apology for him getting jerked back to SS next year), I tip my hat to you, Mr. Hill, Sir.