Prospect Profile: Andrew Miller

With their top pick in the 2006 draft, the Tigers selected North Carolina lefty Andrew Miller. Almost immediately following last year's draft, Miller was considered the top talent heading into this year. Check inside to see what Miller brings to the table, why he slipped to the Tigers, and how quickly he may be pitching in Detroit.

Andrew Miller
Position: Left-Handed Pitcher Height: 6-6 Weight: 210
Born: 5/21/1985 Bats: Right Throws: Left

Background
The 2003 draft saw Miller go in the 3rd round to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In the end, he was the top unsigned pick in the draft. Miller has been a premium prospect since high school, and has only enhanced his stock since joining the Tar Heels. Miller was the Gatorade National Player of the Year as a high school senior, and was also a pre-season and post season high school All American. As a freshman at UNC, Andrew was named 2nd team All-ACC, as well as to the Freshman All-American Team, while posting a 6-3 record and 2.93 ERA in 89 innings. Miller's sophomore campaign saw him become the UNC ace, while also garnering significant attention on post season watch lists. He was named to the watch lists for the Brooks Wallace, Roger Clemens (top pitcher), and Golden Spikes (top player) Awards. During the summer, Miller pitched for the Chatham A's of the Cape Cod League, ending the season as the league's top prospect. He was granted the Robert A. McNeece Outstanding Prospect Award, while also bringing home the B.F.C. Whitehouse Outstanding Pitcher Award. As a junior this season, Miller garnered numerous pre-season honors, and has thus far taken home end-of-season awards that include Louisville Slugger First Team All American, ACC Pitcher of the Year, First Team All-ACC, and is again a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award as the nation's top player. Thus far, Miller's junior campaign has been electric, as he sports a 2.26 ERA in 15 starts, with at least a few games still to go in the Super Regionals.

Scouting Report
Miller brings exceptional size, poise, and intelligence to the mound. His four-seam fastball sits consistently in the 93-95 range, and can touch 97 when he reaches back for more. His two-seamer has a little less velocity, but adds significant movement. Andrew gets plenty of natural sinking action on his secondary fastball, and can command it to both sides of the plate, low in the zone. Miller's breaking ball is a late-breaking slurve that he can place on both corners, or bury in the dirt as a swing-and-miss out pitch. The slurve is currently an above-average pitch, but has shown plus potential at times. He has flashed a change-up at times, but the pitch is little more than a show-me pitch at this time. Miller will have to become more consistent with the pitch for it to be truly reliable. Andrew is a very good athlete, who fields his position well and repeats his low-3/4s delivery very well. He projects as a top of the rotation starter who could see an additional bump in velocity as he continues to mature.

Performance

Level

Team

W-L

ERA

G

GS

SV

SO

BB

IP

WHIP

A

N. Carolina

12-2

2.26

15

15

0

108

35

103.2

1.13


Health Record
Miller has clean mechanics that he repeats very well, and has had no injury issues to this point in his career.

The Future
The Tigers have not been afraid of tricky negotiations over the last several seasons, and that appears to be the case again this year. Miller's bonus demands have reportedly crept upwards of $10 million, and he may not be under contract until sometime this fall. It's unlikely the Tigers would have made this pick if they were unwilling to pay a steep price for his services, but that doesn't mean there will a quick resolution. Once signed, Miller should move very quickly, with the potential to reach Detroit for a cup of coffee by the close of the 2007 season. Expect to see him get significant Major League time during the 2008 season, and barring any significant injuries, he should join Justin Verlander at the top of the Detroit rotation in very short order.


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