Jacob Miller was the 2021-22 Gatorade Ohio Baseball Player of the Year after a dominant senior season on the mound. The right-hander is committed to the University of Louisville but could factor into the first round of the MLB Draft after improving his full pitch arsenal. Let’s find out what the 18-year-old brings to the next level.
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Jacob Miller, RHP, Liberty Union (OH)
Weight: 180 lbs.
2019: 55 IP, 4-4, 1.65 ERA, 106 K
2021: 60 IP, 9-1, 0.70 ERA, 143 K
2022: 40 IP, 6-0, 0.35 ERA, 94 K, 6 BB, .096 BAA
Miller was the first Gatorade Ohio Baseball Player of the Year to chosen from Liberty Union High School and was a finalalist for the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year award. He is the state’s number one recruit for the Class of 2022 and the number 24 recruit in the nation. Miller began to garner collegiate interest in the summer before his freshman year and committed to Louisville as soon as he got an offer in 2018. He excelled on the showcase circuit last year leading to a big rise in stock. He was a MaxPreps All-American Team selection and All-State following his junior year.
Miller works with a four-pitch mix, with his curveball being his best pitch. He has an advanced feel for spin rate and has high depth on his devastating 78-82 mph curveball and tight 83-87 mph slider. The other two pitches in his arsenal are a 91-95 mph fastball that can touch 97 mph with armside run and an 82-86 mph changeup that has plus potential. Miller attacks the strikezone and lands his curveball very well and creates angle and deception from high three-quarter delivery. He is ultra-competitive and worked on adding more strength to his frame and velocity during his senior year. His work certainly paid off as his stuff has looked even sharper. He will make an immediate impact whether that be at Louisville or in the minor leagues of the team who drafts him.
Depending on where he is drafted, Miller’s commitment to Louisville might be too strong to forgo and go pro. A first-round bonus might do the trick in talking him into signing, it just depends on how the chips fall. He isn’t the most physical pitcher, either, which might cause teams to shy away despite being an athletic arm on the mound.
Pro Comparison: Triston McKenzie
As well as standing at a similar build, with McKenzie at 6-foot-5, 195 pounds, the pair throw equally deceiving curveballs. McKenzie works with finesse over velocity but can up the ante when he has to. Miller looks to have more velocity at the next level but also works with a lot of deception with his secondary pitches. McKenzie was drafted by Cleveland with the 42nd pick of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Royal Palm Beach High School.
Draft Projection: Late First Round
Miller looks to be cemented into the first round as long as his signability isn’t too big of a concern. The competitiveness and advanced feel for his pitch mix will entice plenty of teams late in the first round. He is an analytics darling who is very much built for today’s game. Teams like the Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, and Houston Astros would look long and hard at the possibility of selecting him if he is available.
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Main Image Credit: From Baseball Prospect Journal