Aaron Walter Hill (born on March 21, 1982 in Visalia, California) is a Major League Baseball player and second-baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays. Hill was drafted by Toronto in the first round (13th overall) of the 2003 MLB First Year Draft as a shortstop, but moved to second base after the departure of Blue Jays' former second baseman Orlando Hudson.
Hill was originally drafted by the Anaheim Angels in the 7th round of the June 2000 Draft. Hill turned down the offer, opting to attend Louisiana State University and play for the varsity Fighting Tigers baseball team. While at LSU, Hill posted a career .335 batting average with 23 home runs and 150 RBIs.
Major League careerEdit
Hill was Toronto's first draft pick (13th overall) in the 2003 MLB First Year Draft, and he made his major league debut on May 20, 2005 after being called up from the minor leagues a day earlier as an injury replacement for Corey Koskie. Although he was brought up as a shortstop, Hill appeared as a third baseman, designated hitter and 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.
In November 2007, Hill married his long-time girlfriend.
On April 4, 2008 the second baseman agreed to a four-year, $12 million deal that includes a club option that could run through the 2014 season. The contract could be worth as much as $38 million if Toronto keeps Hill in the fold for all seven years of the deal, which takes effect immediately.
Hill returned from injury in spring training. He plays everyday second base, only taking one game off all season. On July 5, 2009 Hill was rewarded for his fine play by being selected by managers and players to play in the 2009 MLB All-Star Game in St. Louis.
Comparison with Roberto AlomarEdit
Since becoming Toronto's starting second baseman after the departure of Orlando Hudson, Hill has surprised many people with his above-average performance on the field both defensively and offensively. In the 2007 season, Hill hit for a .291 batting average with 17 home runs and 47 doubles, and proved to be one of Toronto's most reliable and consistent offensive producers. As a result of the slight offensive output of many Major League second-baseman and the fact that, in 2007, he proved to be an above average player at only 25 years old people have made comparisons between Hill and Blue Jays legend Roberto Alomar. Hill's 17 home runs in '07 tied Alomar's single season club record for a second baseman, and his 47 doubles broke Alomar's previous record of 41. Hill is also noted for his superior defensive ability. Given that he was originally brought through the Blue Jays system as a shortstop, it has taken time for him to establish himself in his new position, as he was bounced between several infield positions for several seasons. His defense has improved with each season, though, and he has often displayed impressive lateral-range. At one point in mid-September of the 2007 season, Hill had a .984 fielding percentage (Alomar's career average), led the league in games, assists, and ranked second in double plays for a second baseman. On June 28, 2009, Hill broke Alomar's Blue Jay's franchise record for home runs by a second baseman in a single season. Hill is now considered one of the cornerstones of the Blue Jays organization, and is predicted to occupy his role on the club at second base for many years.
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 drunk driver narrowly missed Hill's car and slammed into his mother's car following behind him. His mother was killed as a result. It took a while to overcome this tragic event, but Hill was consoled by family and friends.
- On May 29, 2007, in a game at home against the New York Yankees, Hill became only the second player in Blue Jays history to straight steal home. He accomplished the feat off Andy Pettitte.
- 2001 – 2001 Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American
- 2002 – 2002 United States National Team Member
- 2003 – Southeastern Conference Player of the Year
- 2003 – Baseball America First-Team All-American
- 2003 – Collegiate Baseball Second-Team All-American
- 2003 – USA Today Second-Team All-American
- 2003 – ABCA Second-Team All-American
- 2003 – ABCA First-Team All-South Region
- 2003 – NCAA Baton Rouge Regional All-Tournament Team
- 2003 – SEC All-Tournament Team
- 2003 – Short Season All-Star Team (Baseball America)
- 2003 – Prospect of the year (New York - Penn League – A)
- 2003 – New York – Penn League All-Star Team (A) (Shortstop)
- 2004 – Eastern League (U.S. baseball) All-Star Team (AA) (Shortstop)
- 2004 – MVP of All-Star Futures Game
- ↑ MLB stats page for Aaron Hill
- ↑ Article on Hill and Alomar
- ↑ Visalia Women Apparently Didn't Have Chance in Crash.
- ↑ TheStar.com | Sports | Mad dash home a thrill for Hill