Some rumors have come out that the Yankees have been looking hard at LHP Tim Hill. I took a look at a few guys in the Yankees system last night and this morning.
The Royals feel like their window could be opening in 2021 or 2022 while others feel it might be 2023 before we are relevant again. If the window opens sooner rather than later, a piece like Hill would have some nice value in the pen.
There are quite a few young pitchers I really like in the Yankees system. But, the Yankees have a hard time letting their top pieces go. I’d love #Mizzou product TJ Sikkema but he is farther away from the big leagues. I want a guy who is big league ready for this Royals team.
King is one guy I think is realistic and could replace Hill immediately. I know King is a RHP and Hill was a LHP. With Daniel Tillo looking like a sure thing out of the pen, we know we have a LHP to fall back on if necessary. I say that even though I think Tillo will continue to develop as a starter. I still think Duffy moves to the pen when Singer, Kowar, Lynch, and Bubic start making MLB debuts. That gives Matheny several LHP options in his pen.
King is the 19th ranked Yankees prospect according to MLB Pipeline. The thing I like about King is he has already made his MLB debut and has posted a solid GB rate across the minors. King uses a sinker, cutter, change, and slider. King’s velo isn’t elite working mostly 91-92, but he is one of the safest bets to have success in the majors in the Yankees system according to scouts interviewed by Baseball America. King is known for his work ethic and command in minor league circles.
King dealt with some injury issues to start the 2019 season and fell off the radar for a lot of people as a result. But he worked hard and was rewarded with two big league innings in September. I think King is a guy we might be able to take a shot on whether we deal Hill to the Yankees or not.
Hill will be pitching 2020 as a 30 year old. He has posted a 4.11 ERA in 116 MLB games producing ground balls at the high rate 59.8 percent. The average launch angle against Hill is -0.1 degrees. He has limited runners posting a WHIP of 1.22. Hill has given up just 10 barrels on 245 balls put in play against him. That’s a whopping 4.1 percent. He is still not arbitration eligible and basically makes the MLB minimum. A reliever with success like that at the salary cost seems like it should return more than just King. Especially to a team desperate for a championship with pieces in place like the Yankees.
Photo from the Cranston Herald. No photographer listed.