With the 2020 MLB Draft coming soon, we will be looking at some possible draft targets for the Oakland Athletics. First up, Louisville pitcher Bobby Miller.
The Oakland Athletics hold the 26th overall selection in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft. By that point, most of the projected top end talent will be selected, but that does not mean the A’s will not find a star. Any draft is an inexact science; the MLB Draft even more so, especially this year.
According to the most recent mock draft on MLB.com, the A’s are projected to select Louisville right hander Bobby Miller. Miller had already been drafted before, selected by the Orioles in the 38th round of the 2017 MLB Draft before heading off to college.
He produced excellent numbers during his time in Louisville. In his 23.1 innings during the abbreviated 2020 season, he allowed just seven runs, six earned, on 15 hits and nine walks while striking out 32 batters. Over his college career, Miller had a 3.28 ERA and a 1.124 WHiP, striking out 175 batters with 68 walks in 170 innings.
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Miller has a three pitch mix, using a fastball, slider, and changeup. His fastball has impressive movement and velocity, sitting in the 95 to 96 MPH range as a starter. In relief, he has dialed the fastball up to 99 MPH, with triple digits a possibility in the near future. His slider can work like a cutter at times, but is also a strong strikeout pitch. His two changeups, a split change and a more traditional changeup, are works in progress, but he has been willing to throw those offerings at any point.
There are concerns with Miller. His command can be inconsistent, especially with his high effort delivery. Some scouts think that he is destined for a bullpen role, which may not be a bad option with his high octane fastball and slider being potentially dominant weapons. He also has not really had a chance to show his stuff as a starter for extended periods, with a high of 80 innings in college.
Miller has a chance to be an impact player. If he can harness his command and improve his changeup, he has the potential to be, at worst, a middle of the rotation arm. Should the A’s regard him as a reliever, it is possible that Miller could rapidly move through the system, becoming a potential late inning weapon, or a long term solution as a closer.
Should Bobby Miller be the Oakland Athletics selection, he will be a work in progress. But there is a chance for quite the payoff as long as they remain patient.