COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. -- While some prospects must strive to prove their worth upon entering the daunting world of professional baseball, the talent of the Detroit Tigers first-round pick (23rd overall), Derek Hill proceeded him and with good reason. Fresh from time spent in the New York-Penn and Golf Coast Leagues in 2014, the enthusiasm resting on the Hill's entrance into West Michigan was cut short unexpectedly after roughly a game and a half into the regular season.
As the first segment of a double-header against the Dayton Dragons got underway on Saturday, April 11, an offensive change in the bottom of the fifth inning almost instantly began to raise questions, as pinch-hitter Rashad Brown came in to replace Hill. The franchise later confirmed that the highly touted outfielder had strained his left quadriceps, and sent him to a rehabilitation assignment in Lakeland, Fla.
Official confirmation came Wednesday afternoon that, following seven successful innings of play in Lakeland, the young outfielder has been graced with an acceptable bill of health.
With the green light from the Tigers front office, Hill looks to depart Lakeland and rejoin his West Michigan teammates on the road today for the final of a three-game series against the Great Lakes Loons.
During his introductory season, Hill drove in 14 RBI, had 11 stolen bases and eight extra base hits on the year. Hill also received the title of becoming the first outfielder chosen in the first round by Detroit since obtaining Cameron Maybin in 2005.