By Jim Lane
CURVE, Pa.—While his Curve teammates were celebrating an Eastern League championship last fall, Logan Hill was home in Pensacola, Florida worrying about a possible hurricane.
Hill’s season had ended when he suffered a broken left hand when hit by a pitch while batting against Reading on July 26 at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
“I was sitting at home prepping for one of the hurricanes whenever we were winning the championship here,” Hill said recently at PNG. “It was definitely disappointing to have to go home and leave the team after such a breakout season.”
Things turned out all right for Hill, though.
“We got lucky,” Hill said of the hurricane. “It pretty much missed us. We got some high tide and a little rain, so it wasn’t too bad.”
After a great start at high-A Bradenton where he hit 16 homers and was named a Florida State League Mid-Season All-Star, Hill was promoted to Altoona on June 30. He recorded at least one hit in 18 of the 22 games he played with the Curve before suffering the season-ending broken hand.
“He came for a short period of time,” Curve manager Michael Ryan said, “but he was part of it (championship}.”
Ryan said the power-hitting outfielder (6-3, 225) will be an important player for the Curve this year.
“He’s a fun guy to watch hit,” Ryan noted. “When he steps to the plate, you know he can do some damage. That’s what he brings to the table. He’s got some serious power, and I’m glad he’s back.”
Hill, who played at Jefferson Davis Community College and then Troy University in Alabama, was a 25th-round draft pick in 2015 and has shown some power in the minors, hitting 38 homers and driving in 153 runs in 263 games.
“I’m happy to be here in Double-A,” Hill said. “I try to put the barrel on the ball and good things will happen. The home runs will take care of themselves. (Power) is definitely my ticket, though.”
Hill played football, soccer and baseball in high school, and calls himself a late bloomer.
“I had a late growth spurt,” he said. “I grew to about 6-3 as a sophomore but weighed only about 180 as a senior.”
Hill credits his batting coaches at Troy for propelling him to the professional level.
“They believed in me and I used their trust to get me here,” he said.
Even though he missed the Curve’s playoff run, Hill said he has no regrets.
“Everything happens for a reason,” he said. “I got to go to the Arizona Fall League and it was a blast. I did well and am anxious to get going here.
“Our expectations are to win it (EL) again,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of talent on this team.”
Hill is one of the most talented, according to Ryan.
“We’ve got to keep him healthy,” Ryan said. “It was an unfortunate thing that happened last year. Somebody tried to throw him inside and it was just unfortunate.
“He’s an exciting player,” Ryan said. “He’s grown a ton and is getting better on defense. He’s becoming a complete player and we’re lucky to have him.”