COMSTOCK PARK, Mich -- Derek Hill has been slowed by injuries in his career, most recently undergoing Tommy John surgery last August. Nowow the former first round pick is back with the Whitecaps for a third season.
"I'm treating it like any other time that I play baseball: I'm just coming out here trying to compete, trying to help the guys continue to win" Hill said. "I am just trying to fit in and not change anything they are doing right now whatsoever, because they obviously have it figured out."
In seven games, he has already showed the speed and defense and that are his calling cards, and despite the injury, Hill continues to lay his body on the line every day.
"The way I see it is, if I don't go 100 percent, then I am going to end up hurting myself also," Hill said. "I've always been defensive minded, like I said last year. But I try and do everything I can to help our pitching staff, because they go out there and give all they have for us."
Hill is only 21 and might be a little behind schedule but there is still time.
"Expectations are always going to be on a number-one draft pick, and he has handled them well" Whitecaps manager Mike Rabello said. "I just try to reiterate to him, just like everybody else, it is a game. You have got to be able to laugh at yourself, have fun. It's a game, and just go about it every day and, yeah, the bulls eye's on your back. But he's going to be just fine."
The Whitecaps start a six-game road trip on Wednesday, returning home Wednesday, July 26.