After a few seasons of declining production in Arizona, Aaron Hill's contract was dumped on the Brewers in a trade that also sent shortstop prospect Isan Diaz to Milwaukee. Much to everyone's surprise, the increase in playing time seemed to act as a Fountain of Youth for the veteran infielder, as Hill bounced back to put together a productive season. In just 78 games with Milwaukee, the 34-year-old matched his hit total from the previous season (72) and hit two more home runs than in 2015, helping his slash line climb back to a solid .283/.359/.421 mark. This success punched him a ticket to Boston, as the Brewers used him to bring a few prospects into their rebuilding organization. His production tapered off with the Red Sox, as a limited role suppressed his batting average to .218. A free agent this offseason, Hill is unlikely to be handed a regular role, and he would be fortunate to even land a guaranteed platoon job on a big league roster.
Hill will start in left field and lead off for the Giants in Wednesday's game against the Royals, Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area reports. Manager Bruce Bochy will give struggling veteran Denard Span the night off with left-hander Jason Vargas twirling for the Royals, opening up the leadoff spot for Hill, who projects to see a good portion of his at-bats against southpaws this season. A career .267/.333/.431 hitter versus lefties, Hill could make for a decent low-cost DFS option for the Wednesday slate.
Hill is starting in left field and hitting second Friday in San Diego, the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman reports. It seems like Hill is playing his way into a legitimate role early in the season, as he will bat in a prominent position in the lineup despite the fact that the Giants are facing righty Luis Perdomo. Look for him to continue to see several starts each week, seeing time in the infield and in left field, as long as he continues to hold his own at the plate.
Hill got the start Thursday, going 1-for-3 with a solo home run in a loss to the Diamondbacks. The veteran infielder got a spot start at second base with a left-handed starter on the mound, a situation that could arise once or twice a week. Manager Bruce Bochy moved Hill to left field (a position he has never played in the majors) in an effort to expand his role as a utility player, but the 35-year-old misplayed a ball that directly led to more runs for the Diamondbacks, so it is unclear how many more opportunities he will get in the outfield. For now, Hill's value will be limited to punt plays in daily fantasy formats on days where he is in the lineup.
The Giants purchased Hill's contract from Triple-A Sacramento on Sunday. Hill, who was attending Giants camp as a non-roster invitee, is expected to work in a utility role for the team this season, primarily offering relief at second base, third base and shortstop. The 35-year-old proved capable when called upon in 2016 during stints with the Brewers and Red Sox, but he'll remain off the fantasy radar until an injury forces him into a full-time role.
With Jimmy Rollins being told that he won't make the Opening Day roster Tuesday, Hill figures to have made the cut as one of the Giants' backup infielders, according to Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area. While nothing is official, the fact that the Giants are opting to keep the veteran infielder on the roster past Tuesday's deadline for a $100,000 retention bonus signals that they view him as a part of the Opening Day roster. Hill's versatility to back up several positions in the infield, as well as his ability to play the outfield in a pinch, makes him a logical choice for a bench role. The 35-year-old batted .255 (12-for-47) this spring, but he won't generate much fantasy value as a backup.
|vs FREELAND (CAREER)||0/0||---||0||0||0||0||0|