Jacob Miller excelled on the national scene against some of the top high school baseball players this past summer. In numerous high-profile showcase events, the Liberty Union (Ohio) High right-handed pitcher showed a notable feel for his four-pitch mix, especially his above-average curveball.
Miller regularly pitched in front of scouts at showcase events in the summer. His success has vaulted him up prospect lists and on the radar of scouts in preparation for the 2022 MLB draft. Scouts believe Miller could hear his name called in the first round of the 2022 draft.
“It has been a blast,” said Miller on receiving draft attention. “A lot of people think that it would be nerve-wracking playing in front of all these scouts, but I just enjoy it. It’s fun, especially competing with all the guys I have grown up with. It’s really cool to experience.”
Miller is a 6-foot-2, 175-pound right-handed pitcher who throws a four-seam fastball, 12-6 curveball, slider and changeup from a low-effort, repeatable delivery and high three-quarters arm slot.
Miller has a tremendous feel to spin a curveball. It is his best pitch and one of the top curveballs in the prep class. He started throwing his curveball when he was 13 years old, he said. Since then, the high school senior has developed the pitch into a harder and sharper offering. He also has improved his ability to locate the pitch, allowing it to develop into an above-average offering that posts high spin rates.
“That is what separates me from a bunch of the other pitchers,” said Miller on his curveball. “I just can spin it and feel like I can at any time and any count. I love throwing curveballs.”
Miller mostly throws a four-seam fastball, which sits in the low-90s and hits the mid-90s. His fastball has some natural run. Due to the late movement, Miller rarely throws a two-seamer. He occasionally mixes in a two-seam fastball against lefties, though.
Miller started throwing his slider about two years ago. The pitch made notable strides in the summer and sat 83-87 mph. His mid-80s changeup is a developing offering that displays late movement.
“I feel like my competitiveness is my biggest strength,” Miller said. “Anytime I go out there, I am going to give my team the best chance to win the game. I am going to attack hitters.”
Leading up to his senior season, Miller wants to add strength to his frame and improve his flexibility. He hopes to add about 10 pounds, which he believes will enhance his skills on the mound, especially his fastball velocity.
“I want to get stronger, so I can gain a little more velocity and maintain it easier,” Miller said. “I want that easy velo, so it looks like I’m not even trying. This offseason, I also want to work on my flexibility. That is what’s going to take my game to the next level.”
Besides drawing pro interest, Miller also is a Louisville commit. He garnered collegiate interest in the summer before his freshman year of high school. Louisville always intrigued him since he was younger, and he committed quickly after receiving an offer from the coaching staff in 2018.
“They have had a couple runs to Omaha (for the College World Series), and I knew I wanted to go there,” Miller said. “In eighth grade, I started going to their camps, and they started talking to me. They then offered me, and I knew I didn’t want to wait. I love the coaches, facilities and school. It was all perfect.”
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for seven years. He has interviewed 356 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.