Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Expert Sees Shades of Eric Gagne in Bobby Miller if He Ends Up Relieving

We’re at the time of the year when all focus in the baseball moves to the prospects. Ahead of the 2023 season, everyone has been sending out their top 100 prospects list for the upcoming season. Among those lists was the highly anticipated rankings from ESPN’s prospect expert Kiley McDaniel.

His list featured five Dodgers, and he ranked LA as the No. 6 farm system in all of baseball as part of the prospect series. McDaniel will also be releasing team-by-team prospect rankings and predict when they’ll make it to the big leagues, so stay tuned for those articles, too.

On Friday, ESPN held a Zoom conference where McDaniel answered questions about his list, or anything about prospects, in general.

In his article, which you can read here, McDaniel spoke very highly of the Dodgers top pitching prospect RHP Bobby Miller, comparing him to future Hall-of-Famer (and one-time Dodger) Max Scherzer. So I asked McDaniel about that comparison, and, on the flip side, what he thinks the floor could be for Miller.

“The reason he lasted until the late first round in that draft was a little bit of effort, kind of looks like a reliever. Which obviously Max Scherzer is like the patron saint of like, if it kind of looks like a reliever it doesn’t automatically mean it’s a reliever. But he’s also the exception. You don’t expect that to happen.
But, big fastball. Good slider. There were some mixed reviews. People thought the slider was like a 50 or a 55. Like a little above average. Now it’s like a 65, maybe a 70. Which is sort of ridiculous how much better it’s gotten.
And it’s both, like the pitch has gotten better, he’s throwing it harder, a little better shape and utility to it. But yeah, if it turns out the command instead of hovering around that like 50 command, maybe 50 control, like just good enough to start. If it ends up being a 40 or 45, which is probably what it is right now. Then it’s a reliever, maybe a multi-inning reliever and it’s just like, bananas-plus stuff all over the place. I don’t want to say like Éric Gagné, but the kind of thing, like, oh, it’s not this typical like two-pitch guy where he’s like either throwing a 97 here or he’s throwing a slider off the plate here. He’s got more going on that.
So I think like a multi-inning setup guy is probably about, you know, fingers crossed on injuries and velocity disappearing and all these sorts of the things. But if it’s just sort of like a linear growth but it just stops right here, then it’s like a 40 command guy with great stuff that can come in the 7th, 8th inning and maybe go multiple and be that kind of guy.”

However, McDaniel doesn’t think Miller is just going to hit his floor. He thinks he has a chance to be really special.

“And I just think because there’s the chance he could be that superstar, you got to move him way up the list. Even though that floor is pretty low. Like a good reliever that seems like everybody’s got a couple of those guys.”

Dodger fans should get a good look at Miller this season, as he, along with many other Dodgers, are expected to make their debuts this season. And if all goes according to plan, fans should become very familiar with him over the next few seasons.

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Editor for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan his whole life, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin.

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