The SF Giants had a busy day picking up talent through the Rule 5 draft, but one of their prospects, Jalen Miller was plucked away by the Atlanta Braves.
Miller, originally drafted out of Riverwood High School in Sandy Springs Georgia, has been with the Giants organization since he was drafted in 2015. Given that he was drafted out of high school, the middle infielder has made a slow and deliberate ascent through the minor league ranks.
He had reached as high as Double-A Richmond and might have made an appearance in Triple-A in 2020 if the minor league season was not wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the profile that comes with being a third-round pick, the right-handed bat has been inconsistent at the plate. In five minor league seasons, he has slashed .235/.291/.352 with 36 home runs, 211 RBI, and 6.6 percent walk rate against a 20.9 percent strikeout rate. This does include a promising year in which he posted a .755 OPS with 14 home runs and 62 RBI as a 21-year-old with San Jose in 2018.
Following the 2019 minor league season, Miller was selected to play for the Arizona Fall League. However, he struggled to the tune of a .525 OPS in 33 plate appearances against advanced pitching.
Still, receiving rave reviews for his character and makeup by many around the game, the Giants never were afraid to challenge Miller with aggressive assignments. While consistently 2-3 years younger than his competition, Miller held his own for his 500 plate appearances every season. The only time he got a chance to repeat a level, at San Jose, he had a career year hitting 35 doubles, 14 home runs, and posting a .276/.321/.434 triple-slash.
With that being said, Miller did give us a nice memory in Spring Training in March:
The middle infielder has appeared at second base, shortstop, and center field throughout his pro career. However, he is not as versatile as his profile might suggest. Limited by a below-average arm, he probably will be unable to handle shortstop at the big-league level. With that said, he’s just he’s still just 23-years old and has plenty of time to tap into his potential. Remember, in the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 Draft, players are not required to be added to the big-league roster.
Now he gets a chance to make a solid impression a little closer to home. The Atlanta Braves have a talented farm system and have had a great player development staff for some time. While the SF Giants will surely miss the infield depth, Jalen Miller will have an opportunity to breakout with a little change of scenery.