The MLB Draft will start this Wednesday. Over the next few days, we will profile several players the Yankees have been connected to who they could select with their first pick. You can find mock draft results and brief profiles herehere and here. This profile and others this week will be more detailed. Hopefully the Yankees actually select one of these players! Up today: Bobby Miller.
Miller is a RHP from Louisville. He was drafted out of high school by the Orioles in the 38th round but followed through on his commitment to Louisville instead. He initially worked out of the Cardinals bullpen before moving into the rotation midway through his sophomore season. During the super-regionals last year, he had a no-hitter through eight innings against East Carolina which showed he can perform on a big stage against tough competition.
Miller carried his momentum from last year’s playoffs and strong fall showings into this junior season. In four starts, he pitched to a 2.31 ERA with 34 K and 9 BB.
MLB Pipeline ranked Miller as the 26th best prospect in the draft class and Baseball America has him at 28th. Keith Law of The Athletic is lower on Miller and ranked him 51st overall. Those rankings are all over the place because there is a debate over whether Miller profiles best as a starter or reliever. He has tantalizing stuff and a 6’5” frame which bode well for him as a starter, however, he does not have a strong 3rd pitch and his control can be lacking – which lead some to think he is a reliever longterm.
Like most top pitching prospects, Miller has an electric fastball that reaches the upper 90’s and remains in the mid 90’s throughout his starts. He also has a decent slider that has plus potential. His 3rd pitch is a changeup that is still developing. He gets good movement on the fastball which helps carry it through the zone despite average spin rates. Keith Law also notes his delivery is not the smoothest which adds to the reliever risk. In recent mock drafts, Miller has gone anywhere from 27th to 33rd which is a really narrow range. Furthermore, Kiley McDaniel of ESPN, Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs, and Keith Law have all mocked Miller to the Yankees with McDaniel and Law both noting the Yankees have been tied to him.
Miller is the only player I have seen multiple outlets mock to the Yankees in the past week. Here is video:
Miller fits the bill of a Yankee pitching prospect – big, strong fastball, good performance, and upside. Whoever drafts Miller will want to focus on his secondary pitches to give him a true swing and miss offering. If the Yankees are high on his slider, he could be the pick here. Personally, I prefer to stay away from reliever-risk pitching prospects so early, but Miller has exciting upside.