Red Sox Acquire Aaron Hill for Pair of Prospects

Late on Thursday afternoon, the Boston Red Sox announced that they had acquired infielder Aaron Hill and cash considerations from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for minor-league pitcher Aaron Wilkerson and infielder Wendell Rijo.

So far this season, the six-foot-three, 190-pound right-hander Wilkerson is having a banner year, posting a combined 2.14 ERA with 102 strikeouts and just 25 walks over 92.1 innings between Double-A Portland (1.83 ERA, 44.1 IP) and Triple-A Pawtucket (2.44 ERA, 48.0 IP). Dating back to his promotion to High-A Salem on May 5 of last year, Wilkerson owns a 2.71 ERA with 226 strikeouts over his last 219.0 innings pitched. According to, the 27-year-old Wilkerson currently ranked as the #30 prospect in the Red Sox organization.

Rijo has been having a decidedly less successful year than Wilkerson, but is unanimously considered a more valuable prospect due to a few plus tools (hit, run) and significant age advantage (Rijo turns 21 in September). The Dominican Republic native hit .270/.364/.324 in 11 games with High-A Salem before being promoted to Portland early this season. Since the promotion, Rijo owns a .186/.245/.266 line and has made nine errors in just over 400 innings at second base for the Sea Dogs. Rijo came in at #11 on my preseason organizational prospect rankings, and was currently ranked as the #49 prospect in the system by, sliding all the way down from #22 on their April rankings.

After a lackluster pair of seasons in Arizona following red-hot 2012 and 2013 campaigns, Hill has quietly put together a solid 2016 with the Milwaukee Brewers. In 78 games and 292 plate appearances, Hill has amassed a respectable .283/.359/.421 line with his OPS+ and wRC+ identical at 107. Hill has also added eight home runs and eleven doubles and put together a solid 43:30 K:BB ratio.

In the field, Hill has played nearly three-quarters of his games at third base, where he’ll likely slot into the Red Sox’ lineup against left-handed pitching, as current third baseman Travis Shaw has struggled against southpaws this season. For his career, Hill owns a .267/.332/.431 line against lefties. However, he sports a similar .269/.322/.420 line against righties, indicating he would not suffer immensely if deployed against right-handers.

Hill will add some much-needed depth to a thin Boston bench, with the ability to play both second and third base. This flexibility should allow super-utilityman Brock Holt to continue playing left field regularly in the absence of the injured Chris Young and Blake Swihart.

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