Aidan Miller makes first pro homer count, swats Single-A Phils to finals

September 16th, 2023

Twenty-three games into his professional career, was searching for his first home run.

He hardly could have picked a better game when he finally connected on Friday night.

Miller, the Phillies' 2023 first-round pick and fourth-ranked prospect, socked a decisive two-run homer to left field in Single-A Clearwater's 2-1 win over Lakeland that clinched the Threshers' spot in the Florida State League Finals.

Miller's third-inning home run proved to be all the offense Clearwater needed in the game, as starter Jonathan Petit and four relievers combined to hold Lakeland to one run on four hits. With the win, the Threshers will face the Jupiter Hammerheads (Marlins) in the best-of-3 FSL Finals beginning Sunday.

It wasn't just that Miller's roundtripper was meaningful in the game, though -- it was his hardest hit ball in Single-A. MLB's No. 90 prospect crushed the ball 420 feet at 109.3 mph, and it appeared to leave BayCare Ballpark.

To put into context how hard he hit it, the ball would've been a home run in all 30 MLB parks as well, according to Statcast.

Miller flexed his 60-grade power all game, even on his outs. In his third at-bat, he whacked a 107 mph grounder -- his second-hardest contact this season with Clearwater -- that first baseman Josue Briceno corralled. Plus, he added a single in the eighth.

The 19-year-old's big game was certainly welcome as he continues to adjust from Florida high school ball to the Florida State League. In last the two weeks before Friday's outburst, Miller was just 4-for-28 with no extra-base hits, two walks and nine strikeouts.

Still, the tools that made him the 27th pick in July are apparent. Although balls aren't always falling in for hits, he's routinely hitting it hard. And on the season as a whole between Clearwater and the Florida Complex League, he's been disciplined with 12 walks to 18 strikeouts.

Miller will have at least two more chances to showcase his skills before the season ends -- and potentially add a trophy to boot.