Name: Adam Hill
Born: Anderson, South Carolina
Age: 21 (3/24/1997)
Height/Weight: 6’5”/225 lbs.
School: University of South Carolina
A standout at T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, South Carolina, Adam Hill was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 39th round of the 2015 MLB Draft, but he elected to honor his college commitment to the University of South Carolina. In his first year with the Gamecocks, he posted a 3.53 ERA in 66.0 innings, allowing 49 hits, walking 28, and striking out 72. In his sophomore year, he posted a 3.04 ERA in 77.0 innings, allowing 56 hits, walking 39, and striking out 87. Through 14 starts this season, Hill has posted a 4.08 ERA in 75.0 innings, allowing 49 hits, walking 46, and striking out 92.
At 6’5”, 225-pounds, the right-hander has a solid pitching body. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot and gets good extension with his stride. His delivery is loose and repeatable, though his crossfire action sometimes affects his control and problems with stamina sometimes causes his arm slot to drop down.
His fastball generally sits in the low-to-mid-90s, topping out as high as 95 MPH. He gets good extension on the pitch, and is able to impart sink on it due to his height and arm-side run thanks to his crossbody arm action. He is able to command the pitch and generally lives in the lower half of the strike zone with it. He has shown problems with durability and maintaining his velocity in multiple outings, often dipping into the high-80s with the pitch.
Hill complements his fastball with a slider and a changeup. His slider is the better of the two, projecting to be an above-average or even plus pitch. Sitting in the low-80s, it features short, tight break. He occasionally slows the pitch down, but when it is thrown under 80 MPH, it has more slurvy break and acts more as a get-me-over pitch that drops in for strikes rather than a pitch designed to miss bats. While his changeup is a firm and without much fade, it projects to be an average offering. Sitting in the mid-to-upper-80s, he velocity differential between it and his fastball is just enough to confuse batters due to the fact that he mimics his fastball arm speed well.
Because he lacks an electric fastball, dynamic secondary stuff, and has suffered from bouts of control problems seemingly tied to durability, the question remains whether or not Hill will be able to remain a starter as a professional. If he can do a better job maintaining his fastball velocity and commanding his pitches, he will be able to stay a starter, but if not, he profiles as a middle reliever.