Tim Kurkjian on Alek Manoah The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast

Longtime ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian is the latest guest on The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast, and he's a big fan of former Mountaineer Alek Manoah. In this interview with Ryan Decker, Kurkjian breaks down Manoah's presence on the mound, and explains why the pitcher's career with the Blue Jays has begun with so much success.  Kurkjian also dishes on another former Mountaineer, John Means, who will miss the remainder of the MLB season due to injury. The Orioles ace is the only former Mountaineer to throw a big league no-hitter. 

On the final day of May, former West Virginia outfielder Darius Hill was promoted within the Chicago Cubs organization.

After hitting for a .308 average with 20 extra-base hits at the Double-A level this spring, Hill was elevated from Double-A Tennessee to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. It’s the highest level of Minor League Baseball, just one step away from playing in the big leagues.

Since being promoted, Hill has only gotten better.

Following play on Saturday, Hill has played 18 games in Triple-A. Throughout those 18 games, Hill is hitting for a .387 average.

He also has a .418 on-base percentage, a .507 slugging percentage, and a .924 OPS.

Hill has a total of 29 hits, seven of which have gone for extra bases.

The former Mountaineer also has scored 15 runs since arriving in Triple-A.

RELATED: Mountaineers on the Farm Update (May)

Of players who have at least 75 at-bats for Iowa, Hill’s .387 average is the best on the team by nearly 100 percentage points.

If Hill qualified for statistical leadership in the International League, he would rank first in the league in batting average and on-base percentage, fourth in OPS, eleventh in slugging percentage.

Hill’s 0-for-4 night at the plate on Saturday ended a 10-game hitting streak. He had six multi-hit performances over that stretch, including a three-double performance on June 12 and scoring multiple runs in four contests.

A 20th-round pick of the Cubs out of West Virginia in 2019, Hill homered in his first at-bat at the Triple-A level.

Hill hit for at least a .307 average in all four years he played at West Virginia. He also recorded at least 75 hits in each season he played for the Mountaineers.

Hill is WVU’s all-time leader in career doubles (79), career games played and starts (235), and career at-bats (941). He is also top 5 in WVU baseball history in several categories, including career extra-base hits (106), career hits (304), and career runs (176).