The veteran starting pitcher signed a one-year deal with the team on Wednesday, making the beginning of his third stint with the organization.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) December 2, 2021
Even at the age of 41, Hill is an effective big-league pitcher.
Age is just a number to him.
He’ll look to continue having success in 2022.
But in the meantime, let’s rank some of his best seasons so far.
This guy has been in the league for 17 years, so there are lots of seasons to choose from.
We’re going to pick his three best.
3. 2016 Season With Oakland Athletics And Los Angeles Dodgers
Statistically, Hill’s 2016 season stands as arguably the best year of his career so far.
Unfortunately, he was only able to make 20 starts.
For that reason, the campaign comes in at No. 3 on this list instead of No. 1 or No. 2.
But it was still a fantastic year for him.
He posted a 2.12 ERA, 2.39 FIP, and 1.00 WHIP.
He also registered an ERA+ of 193.
For context, a 193 ERA+ is 93 percent better than league average.
The lefty fanned 129 batters in 110.1 innings of work, giving him a 10.5 K/9.
He finished the season with a bWAR of 4.3, and that number obviously would have been much higher if he had made more starts.
Over a traditional 32-start season, he would have been on pace for a bWAR of about 6.9.
A mark like that likely would have gotten him into the discussion for some of the end-of-season awards.
2. 2018 Season With Dodgers
Hill’s 2018 season wasn’t a complete one either, but it was closer to full.
He made 25 outings, and 24 of them were starts.
The results were solid.
Cool look at Rich Hill's curveball from behind home plate. pic.twitter.com/OOyFYOoRDC
— Nick Pollack (@PitcherList) October 28, 2018
He pitched to a 3.66 ERA, 3.97 FIP, and 1.12 WHIP.
He struck out 150 batters in 132.2 innings, giving him a K/9 of 10.2.
Hill allowed four earned runs or fewer in all but two of his outings in 2018.
That might not sound like a ridiculously flashy accomplishment, but it speaks volumes about how often he gave his team a chance to win.
As a result of his reliable run prevention, the Dodgers ended up going 14-10 in his 24 starts.
1. 2017 Season With Dodgers
Same story here.
Not a totally full season for Hill in 2017, but close to it.
He made 25 starts and was a fantastic rotation piece for L.A.
The University of Michigan product maintained a 3.32 ERA, 3.72 FIP, and 1.09 WHIP.
He also posted one of the best K/9 rates of his career (11.0) by fanning 166 batters in 135.2 innings.
Rich Hill, Filthy 74mph Curveball movement. 🤢 pic.twitter.com/lbIGeMVwTb
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) November 1, 2017
As the cherry on top, he was one of L.A.’s best pitchers in the 2017 playoffs.
The Dodgers’ run didn’t result in a World Series title in this particular season, but it wasn’t Hill’s fault.
He pitched to a 2.55 ERA over four playoff starts.
L.A. went 3-1 in those games.
Hill is still looking for his first World Series ring, and he might be running out of time to get it.
Age hasn’t caught up with him yet, but if he wants to win a title before he retires, it should happen soon.