It took just one pitch for Darius Hill to leave his mark on Triple-A ball.
WVU’s all-time leader in doubles made his debut for the Iowa Cubs on Tuesday, hitting a 95 MPH fastball to right field to give his team a one-run lead. That was the first pitch he had seen in his Triple-A career, and he went on to earn his team’s player of the game award with another hit later in the game.
The Cubs, however, ended up falling to the St. Paul Saints 13-3.
Hill has been a standout in the Chicago Cubs’ farm system since his 20th round selection in the 2019 MLB Draft. In 2021, he climbed from Low-A ball up to the Double-A Tennessee Smokies after just seven appearances. In May of that season, the Cubs named Hill the organization’s minor league player of the month after he hit .337 with five doubles, a homer and 16 RBIs. He finished 2021 with a .277/.337/.357 slash line.
Those numbers saw a sizeable bump in the first two months of 2022. Hill was batting .308 with an .847 OPS and six home runs before getting the call-up to Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday.
That day, he was put in the leadoff spot, and hit that home run on the first pitch he saw.
Hill was a standout as a four-year starter at West Virginia. He finished his college career with a .323 batting average and an .860 OPS in 941 at-bats. In 2019, the Dallas, Texas native brought his career doubles total to 79, breaking Jedd Gyorko’s previous record of 73. Hill’s 79 doubles were the majority of his 106 extra-base hits, which included 10 triples and 17 home runs.