Offseason Q&A with Jeremy Hill

Hill is Shooting for June Return

InsidePitchMagazine.com sits down with Binghamton Mets' reliever Jeremy Hill for a short Q&A session to find out how his rehab from Tommy John surgery is progressing, when he may return to live game action, which Mets' prospects have impressed him the most, and to give us a scouting report on himself.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: Tell us about your injury Jeremy. What happened last season?

Jeremy Hill: It was mid-June last year, around June 16th or 17th, I threw a pitch and I immediately knew something was wrong. It was a sudden thing. I couldn't throw another pitch and they took me out of the game. I went to go see Dr. Rokito and he told me that I was going to need Tommy John surgery and that I was going to be out for close to 12 months.

Inside Pitch: How are you feeling these days? Are you close to being at 100%? What do you think your timetable is for returing?

Hill: I'm ready to pitch again, but it is hard getting a set timetable. I am not at full strength yet, probably able to throw at 60-70% right now. I threw three days in a row down at minicamp and I was definitely sore after that. Right now I am throwing every other day, but definitely not as hard as before the injury. Sometimes I can throw and other times I can't. Ideally, I'd like to begin pitching in games again by June or July and get a half of a season in if I can.

Inside Pitch: Give us a scouting report on yourself. What type of pitches do you throw and at what speeds? What is your out pitch?

Hill: I am a power type pitcher. I basically throw a fastball and a slider. My fastball is about 93-95 MPH. I've been told it is been clocked as high as 97 and 98 MPH, (laughing) but I haven't seen it with my eyes. My slider is around 83-85 MPH and it was a breakout year for my slider last year, before the injury. That was the knock on me in the past, that I couldn't throw my slider consistently. But last year, it was really as could as it could be for me. Sometimes I throw my fastball as my out pitch, sometimes it is my slider. That's the beauty of the game.

Inside Pitch: Did you have a favorite team growing up, or a favorite player?

Hill: Well being from Dallas I grew up rooting for the Rangers and Nolan Ryan was my favorite player. I just loved his competitiveness on the mound and his will to win. He was the ultimate competitor and a bulldog out there. I loved that about him.

Inside Pitch: You've only been in the Mets' farm system for a little over a year now, but which pitchers have impressed you the most as the ones with the best stuff?

Hill: Honestly, Scott Kazmir, Matthew Peterson, and Jose Diaz were the three best arms I saw last year. All three had tremendous stuff. But among the guys still in the system, I'd say Blake McGinley and Kole Strayhorn. I know he doesn't have the blazing fastball or the tremendous arm, but McGinley got thrown into the fire a lot last season and always got us out of jams. He pitched so consistently well, his numbers were off the charts and the numbers don't lie. He kind of reminds me of Jamie Moyer, but I think he has better stuff than Moyer.

Inside Pitch: Give us the one hitter in the Mets' system you believe has the highest upside, of the guys you've seen. And you can't pick David Wright!

Hill: (laughing) Well, if I can't pick Wright, I'll say Victor Diaz. The ball just jumps off of his bat. When he makes contact, the ball just comes off of his bat better than everybody else's.

Inside Pitch: Going back to you for our final question, where do you think you'll begin the season next year once you do return from your injury? You think you'll be back in Binghamton?

Hill: Well, I don't really know to be honest. I can only look at what the Mets have done with some of the other guys coming back from injuries, and they kept them down in St. Lucie to work closely with the trainers. I figure I'll start down there (St. Lucie) and make the needed adjustments, then move on amd make some appearances in Binghamton.

InsidePitchMagazine.com would like to thank Jeremy Hill for taking the time to answer our quesitons this offseason. We wish him the best of luck in his rehab.

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