Chicago Cubs Draft: Louisville’s Bobby Miller pro comparisons

Louisville’s Bobby Miller presents an intriguing option for the Chicago Cubs in the first round as a potential starter or high-leverage reliever.

Ranked as the 28th best prospect in this draft class by Baseball America, Louisville’s Bobby Miller has the size of a prototypical starting pitcher and could be targeted by the Chicago Cubs with the 16th overall pick. He’s a local guy and went to McHenry High School, so he wouldn’t have to go far.

As a true freshman, he made 17 appearances – including nine starts – and struck out 55 batters in 66.2 innings while limiting opponents to a .198 average. He walked 21 batters, which equates to 2.8 batters over nine innings. Miller was named a Freshman All-American by three media outlets and participated in the Cape Cod League that summer.

He appeared in four games – including one start – and struck out ten batters in 16.0 innings. He also walked seven batters.

The following year on campus, Miller made 20 appearances – including 12 starts – and struck out 86 batters in 80.0 innings. His walk rate increased to 4.3 BB/9, but he limited batters to a .204 average.

Transitioning into Louisville’s rotation, Miller made four starts this year before the shutdown. In 23.1 innings, he struck out 34 batters and walked nine batters (3.5 BB/9) and limited batters to a .181 average. At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, has the body of a starting pitcher, but he needs to harness the command of his pitches, obviously.

Per BA, his fastball touches the upper 90s with late tailing action, and he complements that with an 85-mph changeup and an above-average slider.  He has shown flashes of utter dominance, as demonstrated in his eight innings of no-hit ball to help Louisville advance to the College World Series last June.

In terms of delivery, Miller has a long throwing motion that eventually releases from the 3/4 arm slot. There’s a considerable difference in his delivery from the stretch with his leg kick almost non-existent versus with no one on base.

Next: Cubs Draft: Vanderbilt’s Jake Eder pro comparisons

As a starting pitcher, Miller profiles closest to Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez, but as a reliever, he profiles closest to Shane Greene.

Rodriguez 2019: 3.81 ERA, 8.6 H/9, 1.1 HR/9, 3.3 BB/9, 9.4 K/9

Greene 2019: 2.30 ERA, 6.7 H/9, 1.2 HR/9, 2.5 BB/9, 9.3 K/9

Miller Louisville career: 3.28 ERA, 6.5 H/9, 0.8 HR/9, 3.6 BB/9, 9.3 K/9

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