A guy who was pitching in independent ball just a couple seasons ago sure hit paydirt. The Dodgers keep shelling out dollars.
Rich Hill was originally Cubs property and came up in 2005. There was all sorts of hype about his curveball. I actually was at Wrigley Field when he made his debut, on June 15, 2005. Greg Maddux started against the Marlins and got shelled. He pitched an inning and got two strikeouts...and gave up three hits and two runs.
A few years later I saw him pitch in the second to last game of the 2007 season in Cincinnati. The Cubs had clinched the division the day before, so the position players were mostly bench guys. Hill pitched but the game was seen as a warmup to the playoffs. He dominated, giving up just one hit in six innings of work. In fact, the hit came in the sixth inning, so he was working on a no-no until then.
In the playoffs he gave up three runs in 3+ innings of work in game 3 as the Diamondbacks completed their sweep.
The next season he lost his command. He pitched 19 innings for the Cubs and gave up 18 walks. By early May he was sent to the minors where he continued walking batters at an unhealthy rate. He was sold to the Orioles over the winter. The Rich Hill Era in Chicago was over.
During his four years with the Cubs I ended up with 27 of his cards. He was in quite a few products including Ginter, Baseball Heroes, Bowman, Fleer, Goudey, Heritage, Masterpieces, Opening Day, Topps, and Upper Deck.