The Major League Baseball first-year player draft is only months away, and anticipation is building over who the Boston Red Sox will select. Boston will be picking fourth which is the first time they have had a top-five pick since 1967. That year the Red Sox had the third overall pick, which was used on right-hander Mike Garman.
Over the last few months, the Red Sox have been tied to many different players. That list includes Jud Fabian, Marcelo Mayer, and Jack Leiter. One player, however, who could be a good fit is Jaden Hill.
Hill is currently a junior at LSU but has had an impressive collegiate career. In seven appearances, including three starts, Hill has posted a 0.70 ERA. In 25.2 innings of work, he has struck out 33 batters and only walked eight. The Arkansas native also has two saves and has not allowed a home run. Hill is currently projected to be a first-round pick and could go in the top five.
LSU RHP Jaden Hill is out throwing darts. He’s 97-98 consistently at the knees. Finding feel for slider right now, finishes off final two Air Force hitters with front-door sliders ~83mph. 👀 pic.twitter.com/PovieDuFc3
— Joe Doyle (@JoeDoyleMiLB) February 20, 2021
Additionally, Hill has been nearly unhittable in his college career. The LSU starter has held opponents to a .114 average and has only allowed ten hits. In his first start of 2021, he picked up right where he left off last year and held Air Force scoreless in four innings of work. The LSU junior showed why he is such a highly regarded arm.
Where Jaden Hill will Land
In Chaim Bloom’s second draft with Boston, he will have the perfect opportunity to add a potential franchise cornerstone. While the Red Sox will be looking to add the most talented player, their biggest area of need is pitching. The Red Sox will have plenty of options, but Kumar Rocker and possibly Leiter will be off the board. Hill would be a solid option, and his stock could be on the rise leading up to the draft.
As the season continues, health will be key for Hill. After missing most of 2019 due to a shoulder ailment, he pitched mostly out of the bullpen last year. The Tigers have inserted him back into the rotation, and his talent was on full display last week. Hill has one of the strongest arsenals in the draft, but teams need to see more of it. Assuming he stays healthy, that should be no issue leading up to draft day.
Additionally, Hill has four pitches that he commands well. His fastball/slider combo is his best. Hill’s talent is even more impressive, considering he arrived at LSU with only two pitches and didn’t have a breaking ball in his arsenal. Although a lot can change in the coming months, Hill will be a popular name for teams picking in the first round and possibly the top five.