The Cincinnati Reds have selected catcher Jackson Miller out of Mitchell High School in Florida in the 2nd Round with their competitive balance pick. The 6′ 0″ and 195 lb left-handed hitter was rated 99th by Baseball America in the draft, 104th by MLB Pipeline, and 123rd by Fangraphs in the draft.
Jackson Miller Scouting Report
Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 195
B/T: L/R | DOB: January 3, 2002
There’s not one tool that really jumps off of the scouting report for Jackson Miller. But all five of his tools are at least average, too. As a catcher you always look at the defense first. He’s got good hands and shows the ability to receive pitches well at times, though like nearly all high school catchers he will need more reps and experience to fine tune things. His arm plays out as average and is noted to be accurate to the bag.
Offensively is where you will see a little bit of split among scouts. His hit tool grades out as average on most boards, but it’s his power potential where the split comes in. Some will put down slightly above-average power in his raw power column, while some will be on the other end and mark down slightly below-average power. That may come down to the fact that right now his swing is more of a line drive oriented swing and you have to buy into him learning to use his power as he matures and figures out when the right time is to use more of a power swing.
Overall the package for a catcher looks good. The offensive expectations for a starting caliber catcher tend to be a bit below-average overall because their focus is on the defensive side of things. For Miller, he could be an above-average hitter for the position and the defense may not stand out, but it’s not expected to lag behind either.
Jackson Miller on being selected by the Reds
“I wasn’t too surprised (to be picked by the Reds), I knew going into today the Reds were one of the teams that had talked to my advisors a lot,” said Miller. “I felt my chances were good to go early (today). Yesterday was a bit of a stretch for me, but when we got to today it was more comfortable. Definitely with the talks my agents were having with all of the teams and everything, I knew this was a chance to go as early as I did.”
“In high school the only year that I caught was my senior year. Catching, I wouldn’t say is new to me, but I don’t have as many reps as most kids do,” said Miller. “My offensive side of the ball is definitely way ahead of my defense. I’ve put in a lot of work recently on my defense and perfecting my craft a little bit. Hopefully that kicks up the speed and when I get into the organization and they can teach me a lot of great things and I can continue to develop on that side of the ball.”
“I almost treated it (the pandemic shutdown) as an offseason. I know a lot of guys didn’t have the chance to go to a facility every single day like I did. Being able to get in there to work with the pro catchers who have been through it (including former Reds prospect Joe Hudson). Getting to learn from a bunch of guys who have hit at the highest level (including Pete Alonso), I think it’s really benefited me. I’ve really changed my swing during the whole pandemic. It’s really helped me a lot.”