Bobby Miller, 24, once considered the future of the Major League Baseball (MLB) Los Angeles Dodgers, once again secured the team’s present.
The Dodgers cruised to a 6-1 victory over the 2023 MLB Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, on Tuesday.
The star of the game was the rookie Miller, who pitched six innings of four-hit ball with one walk and four strikeouts to earn his second win of the season. It was his first quality start (six or more innings and three or fewer earned runs).
Miller is the top prospect the Dodgers have resisted temptation to keep. A first-round pick in the 2020 draft, he was initially thought to be better suited for the bullpen than the starting rotation due to his fastball and shaky command. However, he quickly progressed through the minors and developed into an ace with an excellent fastball and a variety of pitches. Prior to his debut, his prospect ranking jumped to No. 19 overall on MLB.com.
Miller made his debut on April 24 스포츠토토 against the Atlanta Braves. Against one of the best offenses in the National League, he pitched five innings of four-hit ball, striking out five and walking one to earn his first win. His fastball was up to 161.6 mph at the time, and he was quick to switch to a more changeup-centric repertoire when his fastball was hit in the first inning.
Miller’s performance helped the Dodgers fill some of their starting rotation holes. With Julio Urias out with a thigh injury and Dustin May with an elbow injury, the Dodgers have been without ace Clayton Kershaw since the loss of his mother. With veteran Noah Syndergaard and fellow rookie Gavin Stone out, Miller’s performance has been a ray of sunshine.
The Dodgers have been fortunate to have Miller because he has resisted the temptation of grades. Already considered a top prospect in the 2021 class, Miller has been a major commodity in the trade market every year. But the Dodgers stuck with Miller and gave up some of their biggest trades, including Juan Soto. As a result, they’ve been rewarded this year when they needed it most.
Another team is in the exact opposite situation as the Dodgers. That’s National League West rival San Diego. Unlike the Dodgers, the Padres gave up most of their top prospects to Washington last summer to acquire Soto, most notably young gun Mackenzie Gore. He was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 draft and the No. 5 overall prospect in our 2020 prospect rankings. He was labeled the “next Clayton Kershaw,” but San Diego gave him up to acquire Soto.
Since then, Gore has developed into a mainstay in Washington’s rotation. In 11 appearances this season, he went 3-3 with a 3.57 ERA. He also has excellent command, striking out 74 batters in 58 innings. It’s too early to compare his big league performance to Miller’s. But he’s living up to the potential he had as a prospect.
That would be fine if Gore’s absence wasn’t felt. But San Diego’s starting rotation has been very shaky this season. Their starting ERA of 4.40 ranks 14th overall. They’ve built their starting rotation around proven veterans like Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove, including signing Darvish Yu to a six-year, $108 million extension, but it’s faltering. With pitchers in their 30s, the future is uncertain, and they lack future resources. The only San Diego pitcher in the top 100 prospects is first-year high school pitcher Dylan Lesko.
Of course, Soto, who has a .928 OPS (on-base percentage) and 10 home runs, is a pillar of the team. Without Soto, the Padres would be in a much worse place if other players struggled. However, Soto’s contract with San Diego runs through next year.
By choosing to focus on Soto and the present instead of Gore and the future, the Padres are still in fourth place in the National League West with a 24-29 record. The Dodgers, who chose to focus on the future with Miller instead of Soto, are 33-22, first in the NL West and first in the National League overall.