- Full name Trevor Sean Hildenberger
- Born 12/15/1990 in Mountain View, CA
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 205 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School California
- Debut 06/23/2017
- Drafted in the 22nd round (650th overall) by the Minnesota Twins in 2014.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Among a crowded class of hard-throwing righthanded relievers in the Twins system, Hildenberger stands out for his unique low three-quarters arm slot and plus command. Drafted in the 22nd round in 2014, he doesn't have the raw stuff of a Nick Burdi or J.T. Chargois, but his low-90s fastball plays up because of heavy sink and his deceptive arm action. Hildenberger commands both a slider with depth and a changeup--neither of which is better than average--but he is able to generate weak contact and swings and misses. He was surgical at Double-A Chattanooga in 2016, walking just six batters to 45 strikeouts in his 38.2 innings, and he's posted about a 9-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his pro career, earning the trust of every one of his managers. The organization has had success with low-slot relievers in the past (Pat Neshek, Michael Tonkin), so Hildenberger likely will crack into the big leagues at some point in 2017 and has the chance to thrive in a relief role.
A late bloomer who was lightly used early in his college career, Hildenberger switched to a sidearm motion the summer before his junior year. Initially stuck in the mid-80s with his new arm angle, Hildenberger improved his conditioning and mechanics enough to push his velocity into late-round draft range. Hildenberger continued his success after a promotion to high Class A and held his own in the Arizona Fall League. He sits 88-91 mph but can bump that to 92-94 mph when he lifts his arm slot back to high three-quarters, which he does for an element of surprise and an additional weapon against lefties. He shows command of a solid-average changeup he can throw to both lefties and righties. His slider and curve need sharpening, but he pounds the zone and get weak contact on the ground. He figures to open the year at Double-A Chattanooga with a chance to reach the majors by September, if not sooner.