The Los Angeles Dodgers are continuing to do what they do best: scouting and player development.
Despite only having five selections in the 2020 MLB Draft and limited scouting on their 2021 selections due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the early returns look great for the organization.
Their 2020 first-round selection, Bobby Miller, and two of their 2021 Draft picks drew praise as they pitched during the Arizona Fall League.
Miller, who has been rapidly rising through the prospect rankings, has the look of a frontline starter, while Nick Nastrini (2021 fourth round) and Emmet Sheehan (2021 sixth round) are both throwing like they should have been picked multiple rounds earlier, according to Keith Law of The Athletic:
Hold your surprise, but it looks like the Dodgers have found another potential top-of-the-rotation starter prospect. (Oh, and there was a lot of chatter among scouts this week that their fourth-rounder from this year, Nick Nastrini, and their sixth-rounder, Emmet Sheehan, both pitched like they should have gone in the first round after signing.)
Miller, who turns 23 at the start of next season, has only thrown 9.1 innings above High-A Great Lakes and 56.1 overall, but he could make his MLB debut next season because of his talent and advanced feel for pitching. In 47 innings for the Loons, Miller posted a 1.91 ERA and 2.81 FIP.
Nastrini was selected out of UCLA, where he was coming off a solid junior season for the Bruins in which he pitched to a 2-2 record and struck out 13.8 batters per nine innings over 12 games.
Sheehan was selected out of Boston College where he went 5-9 with 106 strikeouts in 76.2 innings over 13 games.
Nastrini only threw 14 innings after being drafted while Sheehan only threw 15.2 innings.
Miller focused on curveball
Coming out of college from Louisville, Miller was primarily a fastball and slider pitcher while occasionally throwing a changeup. However, once he got to the pro level, Miller started to work on his curveball more.
In the AFL, Miller made developing his curveball a focus and recently changed the grip on it, which has helped him find some more success with the pitch.
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