Aaron Hill managed to find a fountain of youth for at least one night. Once considered one of the better power hitting infielders in the game, Aaron Hill returned to form on Saturday night as he blasted three home runs including the go-ahead grand slam in the 10th inning against the Cincinnati Reds. The home runs allowed the Milwaukee Brewers, who have been struggling to find a winning combination this season, to cruise to a 13-7 victory. Hill’s blasts managed to snap the team’s three-game losing streak.
Aaron Hill blasted his first home in the sixth inning, which, as CBS Sports points out, was quite clutch. Hill’s home run managed to bring the Brewers within a run. His second homer was a solo shot that tied the game, and it was this blast that eventually sent the game into extra innings. Once it got to extra innings, the Brewers offense as a whole was quite a bit better than the Reds. The team had the bases loaded when Hill strode to the plate one more time and this time he launched a grand slam to put the team ahead to stay.
When the smoke had cleared, Aaron Hill had upped his season home run total from one to four and he drove in seven runs in this game alone. Fox Sports points out the three homers in a game, and seven RBIs, were both team highs as well as career highs for Hill. Just how good was his performance? Hill managed to raise his batting average this season from .224 to .244. Coming into the game, the infielder had driven in eight runs all year, meaning his RBI total has now almost doubled on the year.
Aaron Hill hasn’t been the power hitter he was earlier in his career, though it appears he’s still got some power hidden in his bat. The former Toronto Blue Jay was once considered a force to be reckoned with at the plate and his numbers were even more impressive considering second base isn’t a position that normally delivers a lot of power. Hill first showed his potential in his third season in the majors, when he hit .291 and hammered 17 home runs in 2007. The next year, Aaron Hill’s season was cut short due to injury but when he was back to full strength in 2009 he launched a career-high 36 home runs while hitting .286 and driving in 108 RBI.
The second baseman never again approached 100 runs batted in, but he did follow up his incredible 2009 with an also impressive 2010 where he hit 26 home runs. The downside of that season was Aaron Hill hit just .205, and his downslide appeared to be in full effect. In 2011, he hit just eight home runs for Toronto and the Arizona Diamondbacks. He returned to the role of a power hitter in his first full season in Arizona, bashing 26 homers and hitting .302 in 2012. That was the last season Hill was able to even approach 20 homers in one season, and after the 2015 season, the Diamondbacks decided it was time to part ways.
The Brewers signed Aaron Hill in the offseason and so far this year he hadn’t shown the kind of power they were hoping he’d be able to channel in Miller Park. One has to wonder now if Hill has finally found his power stroke or whether he was just the latest hitter to take advantage of an incredibly shaky Cincinnati Reds bullpen. Either way, a rebuilding Milwaukee Brewers team has been looking for another power hitter to complement their superstar outfielder in Ryan Braun. For at least one night, Aaron Hill was able to step into those shoes.
[Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images]