Undrafted, unrecruited, and unwanted. Tons of baseball players find themselves in this situation after finishing high school. In a rare case, a walk-on can find success in college, and move on to the next level. Some club is going to get a sweet surprise when they find University of North Carolina outfielder Brian Miller on the board mid-second round.
Brian Miller 2017 MLB Draft Profile
A former walk-on, Miller found success with the University of North Carolina Tarheels. He was undrafted out of high school, and is a six-foot tall, 177-pound utility player. He opened the season as a preseason Perfect Game All-American. Primarily a first baseman early in his career, he became a fixture in the outfield at the end of his sophomore season at UNC.
Miller can get on base. His slash this year is .336/.412/.504/.916, with a three-year career OBP of .415. He is a solid defensive player, who earned preseason All-American accolades earlier this year.
During his Junior year, he stole 21 bases in 26 attempts, showing good base running speed and intelligence on the base path. Twenty-five of his eighty hits on the season have been for extra bases. His strikeout to walk ratio is right at 1.00, which is the highest it’s been in his career.
With his OBP, his patience at the plate, and his speed, he would be a good prototypical lead-off hitter. He also avoids the double play. In three years, he has grounded into five double plays, including one in 2017. His swing is solid and level, and keeps the ball in the park.
Miller’s shift to the outfield in his Sophomore season was a great move for his career. His speed and glove are better suited for the field than first base.
Miller does not have the power generally expected of a first baseman in the majors. Hitting only eight home runs in three years at Chapel Hill shows a lack of pop in his bat.