Top Minor League Prospects #4 - Greg Miller

We continue to count down among the top Dodger prospects.

Position- Starting Pitcher
Residence-Yorba Linda, Cal.
DOB-Nov. 3, 1984
04 Club -None; on disabled list

The return of Greg Miller to active duty is one the Dodgers are eagerly anticipating with the hope that he can do so in something resembling the style that he showed in 2003. Then, he moved to the front of the class as a pitching prospect with the ideal combination of quality pitches, mound presence and command.

A supplemental first-round draft choice in 2002, Miller quickly looked the part of a prominent hopeful as he went 3-2, 2.37 with outstanding control, striking out 37 batters in 38 innings while walking only 17.

That was only a hint of what was to come in 2003 when he became the organization's Pitcher of the Year. A strong spring enabled him to skip low A and move right to Vero Beach. After a rocky couple of starts, he settled in, then took off with strong performances that carried him to an 11-4, 2.49 record with 111 K's in 117 innings, walking only 41. This gained him promotion to Jacksonville where he didn't falter at all in four starts (1-1, 1.01, 40 strikeouts, 7 walks in 27 innings.)

Unfortunately the work load caused a bursitis problem in his pitching shoulder which curtailed plans for the Arizona Fall League. He seemed to work through it in winter workouts at Dodger Stadium, only to have the pain return in the spring when he had been rewarded with a non-roster invitation to the big league camp.

Finally, arthroscopic surgery was performed to remove a sac of fluid. It was thought at the time that he could return in the summer but a muscular imbalance discovered during rehabilitation delayed matters. It was then determined to keep him out for the year considering his age and rare promise.

A dedicated, very intelligent worker, he's progressed through his problems and seems just about ready to get back into game action. When right, he regularly threw in the low 90's, reaching 95 quite often, featuring a power curve and a fast-developing change. He also added a slider that was very effective in 2003 but may abandon that because of the strain it puts on his shoulder.

He'll probably go to AA to begin the season and will be strictly monitored as to pitch count for awhile. If he regains his form, he could rise quickly to AAA or even the majors.