DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Getting drafted out of high school would be any baseball players dream, but after hearing his name called in the 2018 MLB Draft, pitcher Kaleb Hill decided he just wasn’t ready.
“I feel like I had to work on my craft a little bit more,” Hill said. “I wasn’t where I wanted to be and that’s why I’m here working on my stuff.”
The Arkansas-native hasn’t given up on his pro baseball career, his motivation is actually stronger than it ever was. He was recruiting to the Danville Dans this summer after his freshman season as a relief pitcher at Ole Miss. He wants to make baseball his full-time career, all so he can return the favor to his single mom, Tara Ward.
“She works way too hard, in my opinion,” Hill said. “She works way too hard for me. I kinda had a reality check about a month ago, and ever since I started playing sports she’s done everything for me. so If I could do something for her, that’d mean a lot to me.”
“That’s a thing we preach is family first, and he’s playing with an extra chip on his shoulder, and wants to do things, and at the end of the day he wants to get better, develop, and have a chance to play at the next level,” Dans head coach Eric Coleman said.
With the support of his mom, and a talent for baseball, Kaleb Hill had a stellar high school career throwing under a 0.70 ERA for two years straight. That was enough to get him drafted to the Cleveland Indians in 39th round, but he’s hoping this summer in Danville will help improve his game, and earn him a better position in next year’s draft.
“I’m trying to get better at what I do, and then when that time comes, that’s when I’ll talk to my people about it,” Hill said.
Next season Hill will transfer from Ole Miss to Crowder Junior College, looking to get more starts on the mound, with his sights on the pros.
“That’s why I’m trying to grind for her, I’m doing everything for her,” Hill said.