Just announced: The Royals have claimed OF Jai Miller off waivers from Oakland. The 25-year-old is a former Marlins prospect, ranking 28th in Baseball America’s 2010 Prospect Handbook. Miller will be outrighted to Omaha and takes Josh Fields’s spot on the 40-man roster (Fields was placed on the 60-day DL due to hip surgery).
Miller’s never put it together in the minors, carrying a career .237/.322/.389 line in over 2500 at bats and a 10.5% walk rate over that span. His best season came in 2009 in AAA New Orleans, where he hit .289 with 16 homers in 343 at bats. Miller, 6’3″ and 205 pounds, was a three-sport star in Alabama, so the athleticism is there.
This is the kind of pickup the Royals should take a gamble on. At only 25 years old, Miller still has his peak years ahead and many consider him a potential Mike Cameron type. Additionally, David Lough and Jordan Parraz, generally considered top-20 prospects, are hitting .230 and .167 respectively in Omaha. It’s highly likely Miller won’t turn into much, but there’s also very little risk with the chance for solid reward.