The Mariners have claimed outfielder Derek Hill off waivers from the Tigers, per announcements from both teams. He’d been designated for assignment earlier in the week. The Mariners announced they’ve designated infielder Kevin Padlo for assignment in a corresponding move.
Hill changes organizations for the first time in his pro career. The California native was a first-round pick by the Tigers back in 2014, and he’s spent the past eight years climbing the minor league ladder. He reached the majors for a cup of coffee in 2020, and he’s reappeared at the MLB level in each of the following two seasons. The righty-hitting outfielder hasn’t produced much at the plate thus far, compiling a .240/.291/.339 line with four home runs and an elevated 29.9% strikeout rate across 254 big league plate appearances.
The 26-year-old’s greater appeal lies in his speed and defensive profile. He’s a fleet-footed center fielder whom evaluators have long suggested could be a plus or better outfielder. He’s swiped nine bases in 12 attempts at the major league level, and he’s routinely pushed or exceeded 30 steals per year in the minors. That’s led to some hope he could stick as a fourth or fifth outfielder even as he’s struggled against upper level pitching, but the Tigers moved on amidst a rough offensive showing in Triple-A. He’s hitting .217/.269/.325 in 30 contests at that level this season, a disappointing follow-up to a .320/.377/.504 performance over a similar amount of action a season ago.
Hill is in his final minor league option year. The Mariners can keep him at Triple-A Tacoma for the remainder of 2022, but he’ll have to break camp with the team next season or be exposed to waivers if he sticks on the 40-man roster until then.
Padlo, also 26, has changed hands a few times over the past 12 months. Seattle originally nabbed him off waivers from the Rays last August, but they designated him for assignment in April. He was traded to the Giants, again DFA and reclaimed by the Mariners. The righty-hitting corner infielder has only appeared in 10 MLB games this season between the two clubs, instead spending most of the year in Triple-A.
Through 248 minor league plate appearances this season, the former fifth-round draftee owns a .246/.327/.455 line. That’s below-average production in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, but Padlo has hit very well up through Double-A in his career. His combination of power and plate discipline has caught the attention of a few teams, and rival clubs will get another opportunity to add him over the coming days. With the trade deadline in the rearview mirror, the M’s have no choice but to place Padlo on waivers now that he’s been taken off the 40-man roster.
Mariners are right where they need to be.
Playoffs here we come.
Wow! 28Ks in 31 games and he still had 19 hits. Could be something there but he needs more seasoning in the minors.
For Love of the Game
He’ll be 27 this winter. Consider him well seasoned. He has speed and can bunt. Hits are mostly singles. Plays great outfield, but this gets him into injury trouble crashing into walls and other outfielders. Nice niche player if you can afford the roster spot. That the Tigers DFA’d him says a lot! As a Tiger fan (thanks for the sympathy), I’m still rooting for him to make it back to The Show and do something memorable.
He probably just needed a change of scenery and better hitting instruction. Tigers are derelict in hitting instruction.
How Scott Coolbaugh still has a job is beyond me.
I loved watching Hill play. He brings an excitement to the game. Especially with his base running and, like mentioned, his fielding. Injuries slowed him down unfortunately.
His batting needs work. He’s not a power guy, but could be a perfect small ball hitter. Detroit is not the place to learn hitting. And, as a Tiger fan, it pains me everyday watching the lack of hitting.
And I agree… how does Coolbaugh have a job anywhere near a baseball field. ♂️
I do not understand how the Marineres will fit all these new players on their roster especially with Haniger coming back very soon.
He was optioned to Tacoma. Depth piece.
Giants claim Padlo. Keep the circuit going!
Hill’s got tools, but can’t stay healthy. I know there will be Ks in his game, but why should he be singled out for that. Every prospect strikes out a ton. He needs a team that is willing to put him in the line up for a steady month to see what he can do. Playing once a week doesn’t give a good picture of actual abilities.
Could be a asset off bench during playoffs, Angels used Figgins like that tow a WS title in 2002. Steal a base or score from first on double. Above average range on defense. Good depth piece for late inning needs.
It warms my heart to see someone make that astute connection.
Gold glove Quintin Berry.
giants legend kevin padlo
Strikes out too much. He just needs to put the bat on the ball, and let his speed do the rest.
Derek Hill is not just a plus defensive CF, he’s one of the best defensive CFs in the game. Every Tiger struggled badly but the Tigers didn’t give Hill much of a chance even when he was performing well.
The Mariners should keep Hill in CF full time the way the Rays use Kevin Kiermeier. If he plays every day, his offense will improve. The pitchers will be better. Rodriguez and Haniger at the corners makes a great defensive OF and all the rest working in at DH and OF subs. WInker at DH is a major improvement over Toro.
Why didn’t they just move Austin Meadows to the 60-day IL??
Another genius move by Avila. Dude seriously blows.
Going to be another Paredes situation.
Paredes is currently hitting .213 with a .291 OBP. Same player he was on the Tigers
Padlo has been DFA’d a TON
This appears to be an apple, and orange thing apparently the M’s prefer a bite of the apple..
I was also going to comment on the part where we do have some speedy guy’s already in Moore, and Haggerty. The way Haggerty has been hitting you could make a case for him starting if it wasn’t for him being surrounded bye Haniger, Julio, Winker..