The 2021 Major League Baseball Draft got underway Sunday and starting pitcher Jaden Hill was the first Tiger to hear his name called, being selected in the second round, 44th overall, by the Colorado Rockies.
Hill came into the 2021 season as one of the most highly touted prospects out there and was deemed a potential top-five pick. But a UCL tear and Tommy John surgery ended his season in April. Between season-ending injuries in both 2019 and 2021 and COVID ending the 2020 season prematurely, Hill never got to live up to his billing as the next great Tiger pitcher; Hill only threw 51 innings over the course of three seasons.
But if Hill can bounce back from injury and show why he was so highly regarded, Colorado may have gotten a steal. Hill has an overpowering fastball and also has a legitimate slider and changeup in his arsenal as well.
While LSU loses one current Tiger, it also appears they’ll lose one of their top signees as well. Ben Kudrna, a right-handed pitcher out of Blue Valley Southwest High (Overland Park, Kansas), was taken one spot ahead of Hill, going 43rd to the Kansas City Royals. Kudrna was a top-50 prospect according to PerfectGame and the No. 7 righty pitcher in the class. Going that high in the draft almost guarantees Kudrna will go pro instead of enrolling at LSU.