Four years of hard work at the collegiate level have paid off for Muscogee Creek tribal member Kevin Hill. The South Alabama ace was selected by the Houston Astros in the 25th round of the MLB draft on June 11.
“I was overjoyed. I had a few tears. I was at a loss of words, basically,” Hill told ICTMN after being drafted.
A senior right-handed pitcher who racked up 126 strikeouts, Hill earned multiple accolades after a season in which he was named Male Athlete of the Year for outstanding leadership, achievement and character. Louisville Slugger named him one of 17 first team All-Americans and Collegiate Baseball also tabbed him as one of the best in the nation.
The high point of Hill’s year was leading South Alabama to the regional NCAA tourney. “There’s a lot of baseball history here. It was a special year for us,” said Hill.
With a 90 mph fastball, a slider and a curve, Hill is confident he will advance through the Astros’ farm system. “I hope to pick up a few tricks along the way, and I’m confident in the pitches I have.”
Hill is now trying to figure out what’s next. “I have no idea where I’ll play yet. I go for a physical in Florida, then they fly me up to New York for something. That’s basically all I know so far.”
Hill is also enthusiastic about representing Native Americans in baseball, “I want to be an inspiration to younger Native Americans who want to have a dream of playing pro baseball. Follow your dreams. Work hard. Don’t take anything for granted. And there’s always an opportunity to make something out of yourself.”
Cary Rosenbaum (Colville) is a correspondent and sports columnist for ICTMN. He can be contacted via Twitter:@caryrosenbaum