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Season That Was: Aaron Hill

This year, Aaron Hill was coming off a terrible 2010 season. The only positives to his 2010 season was the 26 home runs and his defense. It seemed strange that after a career best season in 2009, he could be so bad.

All of us figured he was due for a bounce back year, but extra points to Vagabond13 for saying that he would be traded. I'd like to ignore my guess, but might as well show when I'm wrong:

.270/.330/.490 with 25 home runs, 75 RBI in about 600 at bats.

For some reason SB Nation will only let me show Hill's Diamondback stats. With the Jays he hit .225/.270/.313 with 6 home runs, 15 doubles, 45 RBI, 16 stolen bases with 3 caught stealing in 429 at bats. With Arizona:

2011 - Aaron Hill 33 124 23 39 12 2 2 16 12 19 5 4 .315 .386 .492

I don't know why he hit better with the D'backs, change of scenery, being in a pennant race, small sample size: take your pick. In all Fangraphs had him at a 0.8 WAR mostly saved by the time in Phoenix and his defense. That would give him a value of $3.7 million. Baseball Reference puts his WAR at 1.3 and lists his WAR for his time with the Jays at -0.4.

He had a BABIP of .268 up from .196 last year, so we can't write off his season as just bad luck.

Compared to last year, Hill walked less (6.1% from 7.1%) and struck out less (12.6% from 14.7%). He hit twice as many line drives (21.2% from 10.6%), showing why his BABIP went up. Slightly more ground balls (.36.7% from 35.3%). Fewer fly balls (42.0% from 54.2%). More pop ups (13.2% from 12.9%). As well as hitting few fly balls, fewer of his flies became home runs (4.2% from 10.8%). There is the drop in home runs. 

He was equally bad against LHP (.241/.290/.388) as RHP (.248/.301/.347).

He hit worse at Rogers Centre (.216/.262/.324) than he did on the road (.245/.285/.338). You all know that he hit better at Chase Field in Arizona (.333/.443/.515).

He hit better with RISP, .264/.308/.368.

By month Aaron hit:

April: .242/.265/.290

May: .242/.296/.363

June: 235/.279/.337

July: .213/.283/.292

August: .241/.277/.368

September: .301/.377/.462

He was traded August 23. He was pretty consistent until September. Never had a month, until September, where his OBP got to .300.

Favorite team to face? He hit .500/.560/.800 in 6 games against the Giants, after the trade. Least favorite? The Angels, .111/.158/.111 in 4 games. 

His longest hitting streak was 13 games, yep after the trade. The longest with us was 6 games. Longest stretch without a hit was 3 games.

On defense, he made 7 errors for a .989 FA (all of the errors were with the Jays). Fangraphs had him at a 1.0 UZR/150 down from 4.3 last year. It did look like he slowed a little in the field but that might be my feeling. I wouldn't be rushing to move him to a different position. 

I hope he does better, where ever he ends up, in the future. I always liked him. I've read that the Diamondbacks would like to keep him but not at the $8 million a year that he has in team options over the next two seasons, so it is possible that he will be a free agent this off-season. As much as I liked him, I don't want him back with the Jays. 

Where ever he goes, I think he'd be looking for a one-year contract, hoping to have a good season so he could sign a better contract next year. I think anything than $3 million or so would be too much money.