WASHINGTON – Mt. Juliet High grad Taylor Hill was not listed among the top 30 prospects in the Washington Nationals’ system prior to this season by Baseball America, an industry leader.
But that did not stop the former Vanderbilt pitcher from being called up to the major leagues Wednesday for the first time. After posting a record of 9-2 in 15 games, with 14 starts, with Triple-A Syracuse, Hill was summoned to Milwaukee after the Nationals won a 16-inning game on Tuesday and used most of their bullpen.
The Old Hickory native right-hander, got to Milwaukee just in time for the day game, and he was the first pitcher out of the bullpen in the fifth inning when starter Stephen Strasburg faltered.
Hill ended up pitching 3 1/3 innings and allowed five hits and two runs with a walk and strikeout in the 9-2 loss to the Brewers. Strasburg was charged with the loss after he gave up a career-high seven runs.
“It was something I’ll never forget. It was awesome,” Hill told reporters after the game in Milwaukee.
It was a good day all around for Hill. Later on Wednesday, Vanderbilt, his alma mater, beat Virginia to win the College World Series title in Omaha, Neb. Hill was supposed to be the starting pitcher for Syracuse on Wednesday but he was told Wednesday around 2 a.m. he was needed in Milwaukee.
Hill, drafted in the sixth round in 2011 out of Vanderbilt by the Nationals, pitched at three levels in 2013. He was not part of the major league roster in spring training and hoped to start the year at Syracuse, which he did.
“I will go where they put me. They have put a lot of trust in me. I can’t control that. It is a waste of time to really think about that. They will find the best spot for you. If you pitch well, you will move” up, he told The Lebanon Democrat in March during spring training in Viera, Fla.