The next prospect in our MLB Draft profile series is Jaden Hill, who has Top 10 talent, but won’t go that high due to an injury.
6’4, 234 pounds
Position: Right-handed pitcher
DOB: Dec. 12, 1999
Baton Rouge, La.
*Not updated since Jan. 5
Slot recommended bonus (No. 29): $2,424,600
Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and videos.
An expected Top 10 pick a couple months ago, Hill has fallen down draft boards because of a torn UCL that required Tommy John surgery. It may be fortunate for the Dodgers, as they might have a shot to draft a Top 10 talent at the end of the first round. He was off to a bit of a rough start (6.67 ERA in 29 2/3 IP), but his talent was apparent. He checks a lot of boxes and they aren’t afraid to invest in pitchers with injury history. Hill was the Dodgers’ selection in MLB Pipeline’s latest mock draft.
Before TJS, Hill operated with a fastball in the 92-96 MPH and touched the high-90s. It doesn’t get as many whiffs as the velocity may dictate, but the Dodgers’ player development staff might be able to correct that. He has a low-to-mid-80s slider/cutter hybrid that grades out as above-average but has the potential to be better. His best offspeed pitch is a plus-plus changeup in the mid-to-high-80s that has good fade and should miss bats. What helps his stuff play up is his command/control profile, which is above-average.
Hill has the look of an innings-eating starter with an imposing frame. He only made 13 appearances (9 starts) in college and logged all of 51 1/3 innings, but the stuff is legitimate. He does a good job of repeating his release point in his somewhat deliberate delivery and very quick arm. He’s athletic and that should help him maintain his command as he comes back from TJS.
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
There is some significant injury risk with Hill — he missed most of his freshman season due to injury — but his ceiling is extremely high. He won’t make his professional debut until, at best, late-2022, and he won’t pitch a full season until he’s 23 years old. That could deter some teams from taking him, but the Dodgers wouldn’t be one of them. If they selected him, they might even be able to save a little money on his signing bonus. He has the look of a No. 2 starter or nasty late-inning reliever.