Cameron Hill: A Member of Lake County’s Own Bullpen Mafia

When he was younger, Cameron Hill enjoyed defying people’s expectations with his athleticism. Although he’s been a baseball player since he was three or four years old, where Hill really enjoyed impressing people was the basketball court.

“I love to shoot hoops, loved dunking on guys,” Hill said. “It was like, ‘Oooh, a short guy who can dunk!’”

However, as baseball became his professional focus, Hill’s basketball time has fallen to the wayside in favor of time on the diamond, where his biggest passion remains.

“I’ve played my whole entire life, all through Little League, all through high school,” Hill said of his baseball career.

Hill, originally from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was drafted by the Indians in 2014 in the 17th round, after spending two years at two different junior colleges. He committed and signed to play at the University of Pittsburgh during the year he was drafted by the Indians.

“One of these opportunities, they only come around so often,” Hill said of choosing to play professional baseball over playing in Pittsburgh.

“I’m not a big fan of school anyways,” Hill joked. “If I get the opportunity to play baseball, I’m going to take it.”

“I had talked to a few teams while I was at my junior college. I wasn’t expecting to go as high as I went, so the phone call kind of caught me off guard,” Hill said of the drafting process. “When I got the phone call, I immediately told my parents. My parents were really emotional. I was just excited, happy to get the phone call.”

Now in his second season with the Indians, Hill has found promise in the back end of the bullpen. Last season in Mahoning Valley, he went 1-2 with a 1.76 ERA in 14 games. He started 12 games for the Scrappers, but has pitched out of the bullpen during his entire time in Lake County thus far.

With the Captains, Hill has six saves on the season. He has a 4-2 record and boasts a 1.03 ERA (only Justin Garcia has a lower ERA with 1.00) through 35.0 innings of work, and has struck out 40 batters on the season. Hill has had the benefit of joining a strong group of relievers in Lake County, particularly being in company with J.P Feyereisen and Luke Eubank. Feyereisen received a coveted promotion to the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats in late May, and Eubank spent time on the disabled list for a bit in June.

“My fastball command has gotten a lot better,” Hill said of what he brings to the back end of the bullpen. “Being able to command the ball down in the zone, getting ahead of guys, being able to trust my defense behind me. My defense has been outstanding behind me.”

Though Hill has not been with the Indians for an extensive period of time, he has seamlessly integrated himself into the organization. He even went as far as adopting some Buckeye pride when the Captains donned scarlet and grey Ohio State jerseys during the first week of July. Hill, who wears number 15, realized he was sharing a jersey and number with Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, and gave the national champion a shout-out on Twitter.

“He gave me a follow!” Hill laughed. “I told him I was going to represent it well. It was pretty cool.”

“It’s been wonderful,” Hill said of his time with the Indians thus far. “I can’t complain. They treat us well, give us a fair shake in everything that we do. I just went through my first spring training with them; I enjoyed that. This is my first full season with them and I’m enjoying it so far. It looks like the Indians are headed in the right direction.”

Photo: Lianna Holub/DTTWLN photographer

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