This is the first installment of our MLB Draft Profile series. Like in each past year, I’m hoping to knock out at least 10 of these before the draft (June 10-11). Leading off is Bobby Miller, a flamethrowing, imposing starter from the University of Louisville.
6’5, 220 pounds
Position: Right-handed pitcher
DOB: April 5, 1999
*Only 30 prospects ranked
Slot recommended bonus (No. 29): $2,424,600
Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and videos.
The Dodgers haven’t drafted a college pitcher in the first round since 2015, when they took Walker Buehler and Kyle Funkhouser. They drafted J.T. Ginn in 2018, but like Funkhouser, he didn’t sign, either. Miller strikes me as a combination of Funkhouser and Ginn. He’s a sizable gent (Funkhouser) and there are questions about him sticking in the rotation long-term (Ginn).
Miller’s calling card is a mid-90s fastball with lots of life. It has boring and sinking action to righties and runs away from lefties. It also has flirted with triple-digit velocity in his shorter outings. He backs it up with a slider/cutter hybrid that misses plenty of bats. It’s a pitch that’ll need to be refined at the next level, but it could be a good one. He also employs a splitter/changeup hybrid that I liken to Tony Gonsolin‘s. It isn’t that good, but it at least gives him a usable third pitch in hopes of neutralizing lefties. He also has a traditional changeup that’s a low-80s pitch.
You’ll notice in the videos below that Miller’s mechanics aren’t the smoothest. He experienced command/control issues in his early college days, but has since figured out how to repeat his delivery well enough that he can be projected as a starter. The long arm action is more worrisome than any of the funk in his delivery. But thanks to a prototypical starter’s frame, he’s able to maintain his velocity deep into his starts.
Videos courtesy of Perfect Game, Prospects Live and James Weisser.
The junior was off to a great start in 2020 before the remainder of the college baseball season was canceled due to the pandemic. As a junior, he has a little leverage, but with the uncertainty in the world, he should be a relatively easy sign around slot. He profiles anywhere between a No. 2 starter and a multi-inning reliever.