Rancho Cucamonga, California —— At the top of this post, watch one of our scouting videos of San Francisco Giants shortstop prospect Jalen Miller, taken from his at-bats during a late April, 2017 game for the San Jose Giants on the road against the RanchoCucamongaQuakes. To read our feature interview with the San Francisco Giants’ Jalen Miller that was also published today, please click here. To visit Jalen Miller’s player page, please click here. And please subscribe to the Baseball Census YouTube channel here for hundreds more videos like this one.
Jalen Miller scouting report notes
Jalen Miller‘s best traits right now remain on the defensive side of the ball, where he was drafted as a second baseman/shortstop with good hands, quick feet, great athleticism, and very good range for a high school player out of Atlanta. The San Francisco Giants‘ #23 prospect still has all that and then some defensively on the infield; this year in the California League he’s showing off great footwork and range, and a technical understanding of how to play both shortstop and second base that goes far beyond his 20 years of life. As good as he looks at shortstop right now, it’s not likely he will stick there, though; his arm strength is average at best, and long term he’ll struggle moving to his right deep in the hole and throwing out runners across his body.
Because of that, second base is probably where Jalen Miller will land in another couple years, and his arm strength and fielding mechanics will play up there. He has good instincts and good defensive reads in the infield, and he’s comfortable playing second base just as much as shortstop, so he ought not find it too difficult a transition. The San Francisco Giants’ prospect is also a notably mature, calm player considering he’s just 20 years old in High-A, and that mentality ought to serve him well seeing how quickly he’s been tested at a young age by the organization.
The biggest questions surrounding Miller come with his bat. He has a very quick, compact swing, and he’s flashed some power thanks to his very strong wrists and exceptional overall athleticism, and yet it’s fleeting and inconsistent to this point. He’s generally well-balanced at the plate, but he struggles mightily at times with recognizing and taking off-speed pitches. He’s particularly liable to lunge at balls in the dirt once he gets behind in the count. Further, he struggles to work his way out of slumps, and a big key for him right now will be to minimize bad days and weeks so that he doesn’t become an offensive black hole for an extended amount of time.
That said, his athleticism and body type could turn him into a fringy power hitter in another few years as he grows and better understands how to use his swing. The Cal League is always a place where hitters go to get right, of course, but Miller’s mini power surge to this point in San Jose bodes well for him even beyond this hitter’s haven. The San Francisco Giants’ prospect can combine that power with plus speed, possibly making him a two-way threat if things go right.
Long term, Jalen Miller likely fits best as a future everyday second baseman, or perhaps a super-utility infielder than can play across the diamond in short spurts. He’ll help himself immensely the better he can hit; if he remains questionable on breaking balls and liable to long slumps, he may forever be a utility infielder-type with limited at-bats and an up-and-down profile. If he starts to take a more consistent approach in time, he could end up as impactful as an everyday second baseman with sneaky power and good speed. Chances are he’ll fall somewhere in between those two extremes, but at just 20 years old and already in High-A with the San Francisco Giants, he’s got a few years to develop into his game and figure it all out.
For our feature interview with San Francisco Giants infielder Jalen Miller, please click here.
To visit Jalen Miller’s player page, please click here.
Jalen Miller scouting report: 140 characters or less
A good defender who will fit long-term at second base, Jalen Miller must improve consistency at the plate for an everyday big league role.
Jalen Miller scouting report video
Here’s a look at three of our most recent Jalen Miller baseball videos, taken during several April, 2017 series for the San Jose Giants in the California League:
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Jalen Miller scouting report GIFs
In addition to our video clips, we broke out some Jalen Miller baseball GIFs for a deeper look at his swing mechanics, including a home run swing:
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In this San Francisco Giants / Jalen Miller baseball scouting report: