Former Detroit Tigers outfielder Derek Hill lands in Washington

Former Detroit Tigers outfielder Derek Hill awaits a pitch during an at-bat.
Former Detroit Tigers outfielder Derek Hill awaits a pitch during an at-bat. / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Former Detroit Tigers outfielder Derek Hill lands in a new home.

The Detroit Tigers are underway as the 2023 offseason gets off and rolling. Things are getting busy as the team prepares for the Rule 5 Draft and continues to shift around the roster, with Scott Harris and his new regime getting down to business.

They have wasted little time as the Detroit Tigers have been busy this offseason. While all teams across the league have been busy shifting around their rosters, making moves to clear space on the 40-man roster, and preparing for free agency.

For a familiar face to Tigers fans, this offseason has already led to a new opportunity for Derek Hill. The former first-round pick and Tigers prospect departed the Tigers organization this summer after he was placed on waivers.

In August, the Seattle Mariners jumped on the opportunity to bring in Hill, taking a flier on the speedy outfielder. He was granted free agency a handful of days ago as the offseason began. He wasted no time and found his way to Washington, where he joined the Nationals organization on a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training in 2023.

The Tigers called upon Hill in each of the last three seasons, with the now 26-year-old making his debut during the 2020 COVID-19-shortened season. He only saw 15 games of action for the Tigers, struggling to get much of anything going with a measly .091/.167/.091 slash line.

Yet, in 2021, the Tigers opted to try and bring Hill around and get him over the hump to be a piece of the big league outfield moving forward. The fielding was apparent with a good glove and quick feet to run balls down in centerfield.

The bat improved In 2021 as Hill logged 150 plate appearances over 49 games played. He slashed .259/.313/.388 with three doubles, three triples, and three home runs while producing 14 RBI for the Tigers. It was enough to warrant being kept around and earning another chance in 2022.

Hill only logged 31 games with the Tigers in the summer of 2022. With the emergence of Riley Greene and a crowded outfield at times, Hill was not needed as often. He also was not finding ways on base or hitting as well as the Tigers likely had anticipated.

Over 92 plate appearances, Hill produced a .229/.270/.289 slash line with two doubles and a home run with three RBI. The glove continued to be serviceable, but the bat never came around. Ultimately the Tigers opted to part ways with him.

Though the Mariners picked him up, he served a depth role, not finding his way into any games. Acting quickly this fall, Hill has found himself a new home. The hope for the right-handed hitting outfielder will be to win an outfield spot or at least try and earn his looks at Spring Training.

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If not, he's got the minor league deal to fall back on and hope for a chance to get called up in 2023. He's not the first former Tigers outfield prospect to land in a new home this offseason, as Daz Cameron was scooped up by the Baltimore Orioles already.