The Atlanta Braves have never been opposed to looking for talent among injured players in the draft, and Keith Law of the Athletic has them going in that direction with the 24th overall pick in his first mock draft of the season. Aidan Miller is a third baseman from Mitchell High School in Florida, and while he has had a wonderful amateur career he broke his hamate bone this spring causing him to miss most of his senior season. In his plate appearances since he has, predictably with hamate injuries, not quite looked like the same hitter.
Miller would never even be available at 24th if not for this injury, creating an intriguing value proposition for an organization who given their winning ways hasn’t had shots at the draft’s top talent in recent years. Miller has impact offensive potential as he pairs one of the best hit tools among prep players this spring with plus raw power and eye-popping exit velocities. Most believe he can also stick at third base long term, which would bolster his profile’s value over him being a pure first baseman. MLB Pipeline’s mock draft had him going much earlier at 17th overall to the Orioles, while Baseball America floated him all the way to the Mariners at 29th showing just how torn organizations are on how much of his performance this spring is due to his hamate injury. Both Baseball America and Pipeline still believe he would be a value proposition at 24th, ranking him 20th and 12th in their top draft prospect lists, respectively.
If Miller were to slip to the Braves at 24th and they selected and signed him it would certainly be a huge addition to a system that is particularly lean on offensive talent. Hamate injuries are well-known to cause short-term reduction in player performance specifically in regards to power production, but it’s one that should not cause any issues for Miller long-term. More for scouts it’s the lack of seeing him at 100% during his senior year, as especially with young players who all develop at different rates it’s vital to have the most recent possible data on a player in order to make correct decisions. Miller is bolstered by a previous history of amateur success, where he won All-American game MVP last summer and led the Team USA 18U national team in hitting during their 2022 WBSC U-18 World Cup gold medal run.