Hill an invaluable resource for Gennett

Hill an invaluable resource for Gennett

PHOENIX -- Ask Aaron Hill about veterans he leaned on early in his career and he will list a multitude of names. After 11 years and 1,400 games, it's understandably difficult to narrow it down to just one or two people.

From Roy Halladay to Frank Thomas, Scott Rolen and Troy Glaus, Hill credits numerous people for teaching him the ins and outs of life as a Major Leaguer, both on and off the field.

But as a 33-year old veteran, Hill's role has shifted a bit. And in a few years, when Scooter Gennett is asked who helped him grow as a player, perhaps it'll be Hill's name that is one of the first he mentions.

"He's definitely a guy that likes to help and he's willing to share some of his experience," Gennett said.

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Hill, acquired in a Jan. 30 trade with the D-backs, is projected to start the season at third base for the Brewers, but he has spent the bulk of his career playing second. Across his career, Hill has logged 1,179 games at second base, accumulating a wealth of knowledge along the way.

"This game can teach you lot of things. You can never stop learning with anything really, but especially in baseball," Hill said. "The more you communicate about how you feel on certain plays, I think the better off you will be."

With plenty of experience at second base, Hill has a plethora of information to offer Gennett, who certainly appreciates the insight.

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"He's got a lot of experience and he's willing to help us," Gennett said. "Here and there, I ask him certain things about double plays and throw downs from the catcher and stuff like that."

While Gennett learning from Hill may seem like a no-brainer, what's not so obvious is that Hill is not always playing the role of teacher. At times, he's also the student.

"I'm trying to learn as much as I can as well," Hill said. "You get to the point where the amount of experience, you can talk about certain situations and whatnot, but it's still just playing the game the right way and leading by example, that's what counts."

Gennett, 25, plans to talk to Hill more about the intricacies of the position as Spring Training progresses, but even when they aren't talking about life on the field, Gennett feels Hill's presence -- that of an established veteran -- will be a significant asset to the Brewers' clubhouse this season.

"It's really important," Gennett said. "It's a thing that I feel very fortunate about. You need guys like that to have success. It's good to have a mix of young guys, old guys. It's good to have guys with experience, guys with not so much experience to be able to feed off each other and learn from each other."

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.