The Player: Brad Miller (SS, Clemson) – Miller was recently named the ACC Player of the Year as he leads Clemson into regional action this weekend. The junior shortstop has been on scouts radars since high school, having been picked in the 29th round by the Texas Rangers in 2008. Heading into tournament action this weekend, Miller's line sits at .419/.523/.598 with 11 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 21 steals in 25 attempts.
Body: Wiry, strong, and athletic body, fast-twitch guy.
Makeup: Quiet, confident player, works hard in all phases of the game, demonstrates some leadership abilities on the field and in dugout, overall quality kid.
Hit: Very upright stance w/ high hands, invoking Craig Counsel in the box, forced to start swing early to get bat into zone in time, bat doesn't always enter on consistent plane, has knack for contact and can adjust while pitch is on its way, sprays to all fields well, will struggle with better breaking balls. Grade – 35/45
Power: Line drive swing to all fields, lacks loft or back spin to drive ball out of park, can turn on some down right field line, swing lacks projection for more than below-average power. Grade (raw power) – 40/40
Arm: Plus arm w/ easy carry and good accuracy that should improve with better footwork, can throw on the move, from any angle without trouble, can make tough throws across diamond. Grade – 60/60
Fielding: Shows solid instincts in the field, positions himself well, reads balls quickly, solid hands, good footwork on pivot but transfer can get slow, can get careless in the field, range is fringe-average now, unlikely to stick at SS as a pro. Grade – 45/50
Speed: Solid runner, H-1B times from 4.28-4.35, not a burner but hustles at all times which helps speed play up, could steal 10-15 bases annually. Grade – 55/55
Summation: Solid defender with good arm and some projection remaining on all-around tools. Will grind to maximize and play above his tools at times. Has ability to contribute in all phases of the game, but not as an everyday player, more of a utility guy w/ ability to play both up the middle positions.
Draft Prognosis: Though I haven't found them, there may be teams that believe Miller can stick at shortstop, and as a result may value him more highly. Most scouts turn in 3rd-5th round grades on Miller, and I tend to see him more toward the back half of that range given his projection/profile. After showing more consistency this year than in years past, some scouts may push their organizations to pull the trigger earlier.