MIAMI -- Out of high school, Brian Miller may have fallen through the cracks. The Marlins made sure that didn't happen at the professional level.Miller's baseball journey has progressed from being a walk-on at the University of North Carolina to becoming a first-day selection in the 2017 MLB Draft. Miami
MIAMI -- Out of high school, Brian Miller may have fallen through the cracks. The Marlins made sure that didn't happen at the professional level.
Miller's baseball journey has progressed from being a walk-on at the University of North Carolina to becoming a first-day selection in the 2017 MLB Draft. Miami tabbed the 21-year-old with the 36th pick on Monday, making him the final Competitive Balance Round A choice.
:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::
"We think he's an everyday-type center fielder," Marlins vice president of scouting Stan Meek said. "We're trying to get middle-of-the-field players high in the Draft."
• Marlins' 13th overall pick: Trevor Rogers
• Marlins' 51st overall pick: Joe Dunand
The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
Miller is a left-handed hitter who throws right-handed, and he projects as a center fielder with speed who can hit at the top of the order. Meek thinks Miller would be ideal batting second, and he compares his speed to Marlins center fielder Christian Yelich.
"He doesn't have the power that Yelich has, which is why he was further down," Meek said. "He's a line drive hitter, covers the plate and is not a strikeout guy. Puts the ball in play. Fits a lot of the things a two-hole hitter does in the order. Just a real solid pick for us."
From Raleigh, N.C., Miller attended Millbrook High School, where he played baseball, basketball and football.
After walking onto the UNC baseball team, Miller had a breakout season as a sophomore while playing first base. But he has become a fixture in the outfield, and because of his speed, he profiles as a center fielder.
"I think he was a little bit of an overlooked kid," Meek said. "He's not a real big kid -- 6-1, 180. I think the fact he's grown a little bit. As he's grown, he's improved his speed."
Miller was the second of three picks the Marlins had on the first day of the Draft. With the 13th overall selection, the club took left-hander Trevor Rogers from Carlsbad High School in New Mexico. In the second round with the 51st selection, the Marlins drafted infielder Joe Dunand from North Carolina State.
The Marlins have a pool of $9,375,500 to spend in the first 10 rounds, including $1,888,800 slotted for the 36th selection.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.