Thanks to almost a season-long injury two years ago and the 2020 coronavirus-shortened season, LSU junior pitcher Jaden Hill has just 21.2 innings of college experience.
Yet on Thursday, the 6-4, 233-pound right-hander from Ashdown (Ark.) High was named a 2021 Perfect Game preseason All-American by Perfect Game.
The glimpses of Hill’s six LSU appearances — two in 2019 and four in 2020 — have been shutdown spectacular. He has a career 0.83 ERA, 26 strikeouts, 8 walks, 2 saves and is 1-0 with the victory coming as a freshman when he started two games.
When he was moved to reliever in LSU’s 17-game 2020 season, he allowed just one hit in 11.2 innings while recording 17 strikeouts. Opponents batted only .028 (1-for-36) against him during the year.
Hill, who was sidelined almost all of 2019 by an elbow injury, made his first appearance in a game in nearly a year when he worked two relief innings versus Indiana on February 15, 2020. He fired two shutout innings, allowing no hits, one walk and three strikeouts.
Hill earned his first LSU career save in a February 28 win over Texas with a dominating performance. He threw three scoreless and hitless innings with one walk and six strikeouts preserving the Tigers’ 4-3 victory.
On March 7, Hill pitched four perfect innings with three strikeouts to earn a save vs. UMass Lowell.
Major league scouts have ticketed Hill as a possible first-round draft choice with a fastball consistently in the upper 90s, peaking at 98 mph. He also throws a slider, a changeup and a cutter.
LSU, No. 7 in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll and No. 8 in the Perfect Game Top 25, will begin preseason practice on January 29. The 2021 schedule of games should be finalized in the coming weeks.