Hill, Cook earn MLB Draft League weekly honors

Turner Hill and Jeremy Cook named Draft League Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively

NEW YORK -- The MLB Draft League announced that West Virginia’s Turner Hill and Jeremy Cook were named Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for the period of July 22 to July 31.

Hill, 23, garners Hitter of the Week honors after batting .486 (17-for-35) with 10 runs scored, four RBI and four stolen bases in nine games for the Black Bears. He led all qualified MLB Draft League hitters during the period in hits and runs scored (tied), ranked second in batting average and OBP (.538), and finished fourth and fifth in OPS (1.081) and stolen bases (4), respectively.

Hill reached base in 10 consecutive plate appearances, following a 5-for-5, two-walk performance July 25 by hitting singles in his first three trips to the plate the following day before finishing 3-for-6. He ultimately hit safely in seven games, recording four multi-hit performances (all three hits or more). The Marietta, Ohio, native batted .433/.514/.558 with 90 hits, 75 runs scored and 33 stolen bases as a Marietta College (OH) senior this past spring en route to ABCA/Rawlings Third Team and D3baseball.com Fourth Team All-American honors.

Draft League Data: Hill demonstrated a patient approach and controlled the zone well, averaging 4.67 pitches/plate appearance with a 42.3% Swing% and a 22.2% O-Swing%. He made an impact when he did swing the bat, posting a 1.121 OPS against fastballs and a 1.667 OPS against offspeed pitches along with an overall line-drive rate of 27.6 percent. The right-handed batter used the entire field, hitting 72 percent of his 29 batted balls either to the opposite field (41%) or up the middle (31%).

Cook (3-0) went 2-0 in two starts for West Virginia and became the first MLB Draft League pitcher this season to record multiple starts of at least six innings and the first to record double-digit strikeouts in multiple starts. The 23-year-old left-hander struck out 10 batters over seven innings while allowing one unearned run on five hits in the Black Bears’ July 22 second-half opener against Frederick. Starting against Trenton on July 27, Cook racked up a Draft League-record 13 strikeouts over six one-run frames, scattering four hits and a walk on 95 pitches (60 strikes). Altogether, Cook registered a 0.69 ERA and 0.77 WHIP between the two starts, compiling 23 strikeouts against one walk in 13 innings.

After pitching to a 2.81 ERA over 16 innings for the Black Bears during the first half, mostly as a reliever, Cook saw his overall Draft League ERA drop to 1.86 during his award-winning week. He wrapped up the month of July with a 1.29 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 29/2 K/BB across 21 innings (four starts). The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native joined the Black Bears after completing his senior season at Nova Southeastern (FL), where he went 8-0 with a 3.33 ERA in 15 starts.

Draft League Data: Cook’s 35.7% Whiff% and 15.5 K/9 across his two starts were well above his 24.6% and 7.7 K/9 averages during the MLB Draft League’s first half. He also induced ground balls at a 68.2-percent clip, well above his 54.8-percent season average. Cook recorded 12 of his 23 strikeouts using his fastball, which averaged 88.6 mph (T91.5) with nearly 15 inches of horizontal break, and picked up another six via his 82-83-mph slider, posting a 38.1% Whiff% with the pitch. Opposing hitters slugged just .182 against Cook’s slider as well as his low-80s changeup. The latter, registering in the low 80s, has a similar horizontal-movement profile to Cook’s fastball and netted him five strikeouts (42.9% Whiff%).

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