Next up on the hit parade is one of the more interesting pitching prospects in the system. Variation is the name of the game with this big right-hander.
- Dodgers No More
- No. 10 – Andy Pages
- No. 9 – Ryan Pepiot
- No. 8 – Kody Hoese
- No. 7 – Clayton Beeter
- No. 6 – Keibert Ruiz
I’ve included Future Value (FV) grades and risks for the Top 50 prospects. For example, if a guy gets a “50 low,” he has a really good chance to be an average player at his position. If a guy gets a “55/High,” there’s a good chance he won’t reach that ceiling, but the potential is there. The grades are 20-80 (50 is average), and the risks are as follows:
- Low: Players who are usually older, have debuted, are relievers and/or have higher floors than ceilings
- Medium: Players who are a mix of younger and older, usually have higher floors
- High: Players who are usually younger with potential, but also question marks
- Extreme: Players who are generally younger with star potential, but a ton of question marks
This is to show what value a player might provide at the MLB level. The higher the risk, the less likely a player will reach that ceiling.
Editor’s Note: I am not a scout (#notascout). I am an amateur when it comes to evaluating players. I don’t claim to be a pro, I just want to pass along the information I observe/obtain to the people. Notes and comments are based on personal observation, talking to sources, reading scouting reports and watching video. For future entries in this series: All ratings in the charts below are on the standard 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is roughly average, 80 is elite and nearly unattainable and 20 is unacceptably poor. Enjoy.
Other Notes: “Role” is a realistic future role (slightly optimistic in some cases). Age is the 2020 season age for the player (June 30 is the cutoff date). “Comps” are usually the best-case scenario based off stature and production. They in no way guarantee the player will mirror the career of the comp.
|80 — Elite|
|75 — Borderline Elite|
|70 — Plus-plus|
|60-65 — Plus|
|55 — Above-average|
|50 — Average|
|45 — Fringe-average|
|40 — Below-average|
|30-35 — Poor|
|20-25 — Very Poor|
5. Bobby Miller
|DOB: 4/5/99||Age: 22||Height: 6’5||Weight: 200||Bats: Left||Throws: Right||Position: RHSP|
Acquired: First round, No. 29 overall of 2020 MLB Draft, University of Louisville, $2,197,500 signing bonus
Strengths: Premium fastball velocity with movement, improving slider, prototypical starter’s frame
Weaknesses: Changeup lagging behind, short track record of dominance
Key statistics: N/A
Role: No. 2 SP
Player comparison: Brady Singer (with more velo)
Summary: Miller opened some eyes in the pandemic-abbreviated 2020 season with Louisville. He struck out 34 batters (against nine walks) in 23 1/3 innings before the shutdown. The Dodgers liked him enough to take him at No. 29 in the 2020 MLB Draft and, if his Spring Training performance is any indication (5 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K), they may have gotten another one.
He operates with a mid-90s fastball that features heavy action and bores into right-handed hitters and runs away from left-handed hitters. He can also change the grip and get a few extra ticks of velocity on it. His 4-seamer has touched 99 MPH, and you can be sure the Dodgers are going to get him to utilize that pitch. He pairs his varying fastballs with a potentially plus slider that sits in the mid-80s. He’s also experimenting with a low-90s cutter that is a variation on his slider. He also has a changeup that, while clearly behind his other pitches, still has a chance to be an average offering. Like his other pitches, he throws two different versions of it — one that has splitter-like tendencies in the mid-80s and a low-80s one that’s more “traditional.”
Miller’s delivery wasn’t ideal coming out of college, but it looks like the Dodgers have already cleaned it up a bit to be more streamlined. He used to dip down a bit with his back shoulder before delivering the pitch. In Spring Training, he was a bit more upright with the back shoulder. He still has longer arm action than other pitchers in the system which could negatively impact his command/control profile, but so far, things are trending in the right direction. Plus, his athleticism allows him to repeat his delivery. If his command/control can make a jump to even above-average, he has a much better chance of reaching his ceiling.
Speaking of his ceiling, Miller has the look of a No. 2 starter if everything clicks. If his changeup doesn’t come along as hoped or his command/control lacks, he could still be a solid mid-rotation starter. There’s also some reliever risk, and he could absolutely thrive in a late-inning, high-leverage role. He hasn’t officially debuted as a pro, but his showing at Camelback Ranch last month was impressive. He should go straight to High-A Great Lakes with a good chance of reaching Double-A Tulsa at some point this season.
The Dodgers have made several great picks at the back of the first round recently.— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) January 21, 2021
Bobby Miller might be the next one.
He’s one of 13 breakout prospects to watch in 2021.
Full list: https://t.co/MWiq2UZZyC
2020 Ranking: NR
2021 Location: High-A Great Lakes/Double-A Tulsa
Next Up: Prospect No. 4