Owen Miller is one of the more consistent prospects in the San Diego Padres’ system. His time in major league camp is over, but the right-handed hitting infielder certainly enjoyed it very much.
The San Diego Padres have several prospects who are undervalued of sorts.
A.J. Preller and his staff constructed one of the better minor league systems in all of baseball. Not all receive the hype of a MacKenzie Gore, Luis Patino, or CJ Abrams, though. It is just impossible to fully appreciate all the talent and give them the appropriate hype.
If you are looking for a consistent prospect within the system, then Owen Miller is your man.
The infielder plays all over the diamond and brings an excellent bat with him to the plate. The 23-year-old owns a career OPS of .808 in 805 minor league at-bats with San Diego. Miller uses the whole field effectively with his approach and is showing improved power. There is plenty to be excited about when discussing the future of Miller.
In Peoria, this spring, Miller spent time in major league camp with the Padres. “It’s awesome. This is a great experience. It is just fun being around the guys,” Miller said with a smile. “The offseason gets kind of long, so it is fun to be back in Arizona and to be around a great group of guys.” Working with veteran players and learning from them is something Miller values much. “I am just picking their brains, and it’s great seeing them work every day,” Miller explains. There is much to learn in the game of baseball. Even the most grizzled veteran needs to take time to reflect. Owen Miller is a baseball junkie. He loves the game. Grinding out in the minor leagues is not a distraction for this product of Illinois State University.
Finding a veteran to be a mentor can be difficult for young players. The Padres have a group that welcomes the idea of helping prospects reach their potential. Miller benefits in the locker room in this regard, and he discusses that fact. “I talk to Greg Garcia and Ty France a little bit. Those guys are in the same line as me because they play multiple positions. They are guys who come off the bench and play. It is fun talking to those guys and learning different things they have to say about playing all over the field and putting together good at-bats,” Miller said. The infielder made a wise choice in this duo to seek knowledge. Both France and Garcia provide an aspect to the game that can be easily adapted into the playing style of Miller.
The versatility of Owen Miller will likely push him to the major leagues one day.
At shortstop, he is steady and reliable. The right-hander can also play a solid third base and is very comfortable at the keystone as well. Recently, Miller has picked up a first baseman’s mitt and is showcasing his skills there. “I hadn’t played too much over there,” Miller admits with a grin. He has embraced the challenge and discusses learning the new position. “It is more of an issue for me that I’m on the other side of the diamond. Balls are slicing a little different over there. Knowing the ins and outs of the pickoffs has also been a challenge. Every day is a learning experience over there. It has been fun getting work over there,” Miller said. “I am totally comfortable playing anywhere in the infield. I will play anywhere as long as my name is in the lineup. Whatever will help the team win.”
In time, Miller should be allowed to flash his skills at the major league level on an everyday basis. The Padres are loaded in the infield, but the steady Miller will push his way to the top. In the game of baseball, consistency is extremely valuable. Not getting too high or too low will serve Miller in the long run.
The third-round pick in the 2018 draft understands the game very well and left me with this thought when speaking about spring camp and Jayce Tingler’s concept of a successful camp. “Focusing on the little things is a huge key in getting better,” Miller said. That says a lot about the way Owen Miller approaches the game of baseball. All signs indicate nothing but a positive future for this consistent ballplayer.