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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

6/3/24 : Spotlight - Shortstop Aidan Miller

Aidan Miller is a nineteen year old (will turn twenty on 6/9) shortstop who is currently playing for the Clearwater Threshers.  He was the Phillies first round draft selection (27th overall pick) in the 2023 draft from J.W. Mitchell High School in Trinity, Florida.  An injury to the hamate bone in his left wrist/hand kept Miller sidelined for a large part of his senior high school season which is predominantly why he was available for the Phillies to select later in the first round.   

The draft brought national baseball attention but that was nothing new for Aidan - he won the amateur home run derby contest at the MLB All-Star Game in Los Angeles in 2022.  He was a member of the United States national baseball team in the Under 15 Baseball World Cup and also played for the Under 18 World Cup United States team in 2022 where he was named to the  All-Tournament team after hitting .478 as Team USA won the gold medal.

We first saw him play on the backfields of Carpenter Complex after he signed with the Phillies.  As is our custom we were there to video his initial professional hit on July 27th (a double in his first AB) in a Florida Complex League game on Roberts Field against the FCL Tigers.  Aidan went 3 for 4 in the contest with two doubles.  The video was added to our “first hits by first picks” collection on the backfields (Alec Bohm’s triple on Ashburn Field, Bryson Stott’s home run on Roberts Field and Justin Crawford’s bunt single on Roberts Field) and completed the cycle (single,double, triple, HR) for the last four Phillies position players #1 picks. 😳😎

Aidan played for both the FCL Phillies and the Clearwater Threshers in 2023 appearing in ten regular season games for each and posted a .303/.425/.379 overall slash line with an .804 OPS in 80 plate appearances.  He then played for the Threshers in the 2023 Florida State League playoffs and championship series where in six games he had a .348/.360/.565 slash line and a .925 OPS in 25 plate appearances including delivering the key hit - a two run home run in a 2-1 Threshers win on September 15th.  It was in the deciding third game of the semi-final series against Lakeland that propelled Clearwater to the championship round.

This season Aidan has produced a great first half to date with the Threshers - he’s currently first in the league in slugging percentage (.523) and OPS (.954) and is second in doubles (14), third in OBP (.431), tied for 5th in home runs (5), tied for 6th in RBIs (25) and 6th in batting average (.297).  He’s also played strong defense at shortstop and has convinced everyone who has watched him perform there that it is the position where he belongs.  He’s shown baseball instincts, a strong arm, solid range and a good glove, multiple scouts have told me they believe he projects as a major league shortstop.

I recently asked Aidan a few questions - here’s our Q & A.

Growing up close to Clearwater how special is it to play your initial games close to home?  Do friends and family regularly attend ?

“It’s awesome. My family attends almost every game.”

When you first arrived at the complex last year I was immediately impressed with your ability to drive the baseball however in pro ball there are always adjustments to be made.  How has the process differed from your amateur days in regard to the daily regimen and approach?

“The big thing for me was learning quality over quantity.  In the cages, taking ground balls, lifting.  Pacing myself for the long season.”

Defensively your actions and skills at shortstop have been great - can you describe the typical work day as a pro in regard to maintaining your skills defensively?

“For me I like to do some kind of glove work everyday, whether it’s double play feeds or cuts and relays.  I like to prepare for the game knowing I’ve done some kind of fielding practice before it starts.”

From my perspective winning games and team bonding is very important to development - the Threshers seen like a close knit group - can you talk about the team camaraderie and how ya all play as a unit?

“We are a very close group.  Every guy roots for each other and we all wanna win for our manger and coaches who are absolute grinders.”

Our thanks to Aidan for taking the time to answer our questions - we wish him continued success - the coaching staff he plays for aren’t the only grinders in the equation - Aidan has a great work ethic and truly works at his craft  - that’s been evident from day one as well and that’s good stuff!

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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