TODAY: The Nationals announced that Hill cleared waivers, and decided to accept an outright assignment to Triple-A Rochester.
JULY 5: The Nationals announced Wednesday that they’ve designated outfielder Derek Hill for assignment. His spot on the roster will go to fellow outfielder Alex Call, who’s been recalled from Triple-A Rochester.
Hill, 27, appeared in 13 games with the Nats and tallied 50 plate appearances. He slashed just .170/.220/.191 in that time, however, striking out in 22% of his plate appearances against a 6% walk rate. That marked the fourth straight season with at least some big league work for the former Tigers first-rounder (No. 23, 2014). He carries a tepid .229/.279/.314 batting line in 304 MLB plate appearances.
So far in 2023, Hill’s work in Triple-A has been outstanding. He’s batted .324/.381/.533 in 204 plate appearances, boosting his career rates at the top minor league level to .283/.344/.470 in an even 600 trips to the plate.
Hill is a plus runner with good defensive tools but mixed defensive ratings in limited MLB action in the outfield. He’s a natural center fielder and has experience at all three slots in the outfield.
Hill is out of minor league options, meaning any team that wants to place a waiver claim or acquire him in a small trade would need to commit to carrying him on its own 40-man roster (or else immediately attempt to pass him through waivers themselves). The Nats will have a week to pass him through waivers, trade him or release him.