Miller's torrid start showing why Phils believe in his bat

April 20th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Todd Zolecki’s Phillies Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

PHILADELPHIA -- can hit.

The Phillies selected him with the 27th overall pick in the 2023 Draft because they believed in his ability to hit and hit for power.

Miller, 19, is the Phillies’ No. 3 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He is the No. 55 prospect in baseball. He is showing why early with Single-A Clearwater. He entered Saturday batting .318 (14-for-44) with four doubles, two home runs, nine RBIs and a .912 OPS in 10 games.

“We’re excited he got off to a good start,” Phillies hitting development director Luke Murton said this week. “We think he’s a good player. Aidan believes he’s a good player. Aidan is one of those guys who’s talented, he really wants to be good, he’s going to do everything he can to be good. It’s a very good blend for a young kid who’s as talented as he is. I’ve told him, ‘We’re excited about his first 50 at-bats,’ or whatever it is. But you’re never going as good as you think you are, you’re never going as bad as you think you are. It’s a long season.”

This will be Miller’s first full professional season. He had 80 plate appearances last year with the rookie-level Florida Complex League Phillies and Clearwater.

“We’re preaching him to stay consistent,” Murton said. “He’s going to learn a lot in his first professional season. There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs. Do I think this is an up? Of course, the last few days have been very, very good. But I think Aidan Miller is good. He’s going to be a productive player. He’s doing it early, but I told him going into the year I think he’s going to burst onto the scene. I think he’s well regarded in the industry, but I think by the end of the year, he’ll be viewed a little differently from the industry standpoint.”

A few other notable starts in the Phillies’ system:

Triple-A Lehigh Valley: Infielder/outfielder entered Saturday batting .271 with five home runs, 11 RBIs and a .952 OPS. It’s an interesting early development. Kingery hasn’t played in the big leagues since 2022, when he appeared in one game. At some point this year, the Phillies will call upon somebody in Triple-A to help. Perhaps it is Kingery, although he would need to be placed on the 40-man roster first.

Double-A Reading: Outfielder (Phillies’ No. 10 prospect) is hitting .281 with three home runs, four RBIs and a 1.050 OPS in nine games. “He’s gotten a ton better in every aspect of his game,” Murton said. “I’m looking forward to what this year holds for him.”

High-A Lakewood: Center fielder (Phillies’ No. 4 prospect, No. 69 overall) is batting .297 with one double, two home runs, six RBIs and a .908 OPS in 45 plate appearances. He had three homers in 390 plate appearances last year. Crawford worked in the offseason to add strength, but he’s done a better job swinging at pitches in the zone that he can drive.