Stop it! Hill keeping infielders on their toes

Infield coach Perry Hill demostrating and applauding his infielders.

Infield coach Perry Hill demostrating and applauding his infielders.

JUPITER, Fla. — There is no mistaking when a Marlins’ infielder makes a perfectly executed play. They are reminded by two simple, yet forcefully delivered words: “Stop it!”

Infield coach Perry Hill, one of the best in the business, keeps his defenders on their toes every second they are on the field.

Every time Hill sees something he likes, he blurts out, “Stop it!” Make no mistake, “Stop it!” is a good thing. Players, coaches and fans watching the drills on the back fields at Roger Dean Stadium the past few days have been thoroughly entertained and amused by Hill’s passion.

“When I see something that is perfectly executed based on the fundamentals of the result, it merits a, ‘Stop it!’ Hill said.

On Thursday morning, Hill gave an exuberant “Stop it!,” followed by a tip of his cap to shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria for starting a routine double play.

Through the years, he’s put together instructional videos. He has his “6Fs of Fielding” — feet, field, funnel, footwork fire, follow. Simply put, Hill aims to put players in position to be successful.

In his respected career, Hill has worked with a number of Gold Gloves winners, including Luis Castillo, Mike Lowell and Derrek Lee with the Marlins.

Hill’s techniques are being implemented throughout the Marlins’ Minor League systems.

Before drills on Friday morning, Hill had pictures taken of himself demonstrating techniques. The photos are being used to update an instructional manual that he first put together when he was with the Rangers in 1984.

At the time, Marty Scott, now the Marlins vice president of player development, was Texas’ farm director.

It was in his days with the Rangers that Hill first starter screaming, “Stop it!” during drills.

“I remember the first player who reacted to it was Billy Haselman, a catcher,” Hill said of the former big leaguer. “We were trying to teach him how to play first base, just for an extra position to play to get his bat more times in the game.

“He had finally figured out what I wanted at first base. I yelled, ‘Stop it!’ He yelled, ‘What, what’s wrong with that?’ I said, ‘Stop it is a good thing.’ “

Joe Frisaro

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