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Dodgers Prospects: Bobby Miller’s Calling Card May Be His ‘Fourth Best Pitch’

Dodgers pitching prospect Bobby Miller has a good fastball. A really, really good fastball. Just ask a bunch of hitters, including Shohei Ohtani.

That fastball is a big part of the reason Miller is L.A.’s No. 2 prospect according to both MLB Pipeline and Baseball Prospectus. But as BP’s Jeffrey Paternostro says in his write-up of Miller on their Dodgers prospects list (definitely worth the read), the fastball isn’t even his best pitch.

Miller’s fastball might legitimately be his fourth-best pitch, sitting in the upper-90s with decent ride, and he’ll occasionally show you a power sinker wrinkle as well. The command and strike-throwing with the pitch still aren’t quite sharp enough though and that can lead to a few too many walks or just general inefficiency. Both of Miller’s breaking balls are easy plus. … Miller’s changeup isn’t as visually impressive, but the 10-15 mph gap off the fastball leads to plenty of whiffs despite less than impressive depth or fade.

So by my count that’s four plus-or-better pitches in the repertoire. Yeah, the command isn’t great, and he may be a frustrating starter at times, but Miller is going to be a starter, and a good one.

Okay, so Paternostro might have been exaggerating when he said the fastball was the fourth-best pitch, because the changeup is only as good as it is because of the fastball. But a pitcher with four “plus-or-better” pitches — and remember, “plus” in scout speak means “good,” and “plus plus” means really good — could be a nightmare on opposing hitters.

Looking at Miller’s results in the minors, it’s clear he still has a few things to figure out about pitch sequencing and command, but the tools are there to make Miller a legitimate ace within the next few years. It doesn’t get much more exciting than that.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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