Not only would the Reds love to add a left-handed hitting catcher to their lineup someday, but Miller has overcome a lot during his short time with the Reds organization.
Miller was taken with a Competitive Balance Pick, No. 65 overall, during the pandemic-shortened 2020 MLB Draft. On Thursday night, Miller finally made his Low-A debut.
After years of adversity, Reds prospect Jackson Miller finally makes his Low-A debut.
Now, if you consider the Arizona Complex League the minors, then Jackson Miller has a handful of games under his belt. But for all intents and purposes, Thursday night marked his minor league debut when the 21-year-old was batting third as the Daytona Tortugas took on the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels.
Miller went 1-for-3 with two walks and strikeout while occupying the designated hitter spot for the Tortugas. After six warm-up contests in the ACL, Miller finally stepped onto the minor league diamond.
But what took so long? This season, Reds fans have seen Matt McLain and Christian Encarnacion-Strand make their major league debuts. I mean, if he was drafted in 2020, shouldn't Miller at least be in Double-A by now?
As everyone knows, the cornonavirus pandemic wiped out the 2020 minor league season. And after just three games at the Arizona Complex League in 2021, Miller underwent sports hernia surgery. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Miller also had a tear in his right shoulder that would require surgery.
That kept the then-19-year-old out of action for the rest of the 2021 season. Unfortunately, in the spring of 2022, Miller would have to undergo another sports hernia surgery which kept him out for all of last year.
After battling his way back, Jackson Miller made his Arizona Complex League debut on August 14th. After six games in ACL saw Miller go 8-for-17 (.471), he was deemed ready for a trip to Low-A and made his debut last night about 150 miles south of where he grew up.
Miller is a bat-first catcher with gap-to-gap power who is athletic enough to stick behind the plate. His above-average arm also helps Miller control the run game, and was ranked among the Cincinnati Reds top prospects in 2021 according to MLB Pipeline.
Developing catchers, especially those coming straight out of high school, takes a long time. But after seeing all the blood, sweat, and tears that Jackson Miller has put in over the past few years, you can't help but wish him all the best in the pursuit of his major league dream. Go get 'em, Jackson.