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Dodgers shift former first-rounder Aaron Miller from pitcher to outfielder

May 24, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT

changing-careers

Dodgers prospect and 2009 first-round pick Aaron Miller is giving up on pitching and moving to the outfield.

Miller fared well in the low minors, but the left-hander posted a 5.03 ERA with 101 walks in 168 innings at Double-A and also dealt with some injuries. He played some outfield in college at Baylor University, so the Dodgers are hoping he can salvage a little bit of upside at age 25 after they paid $900,000 to sign him as the 36th overall pick.

I looked up his college hitting stats and they’re pretty good: Miller batted .301 with 28 homers and a .961 OPS in 153 games, but also struck out 161 times.

  1. manchestermiracle - May 24, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Anybody know of any other examples of a pitcher not getting it done on the mound and successfully moving to another position? In the majors?

    Miller pitched well in college to go with that hitting, but flamed out in AA. Why would the hitting transfer to the majors if the pitching didn’t? I suppose it’s possible, but this looks like another $1M down the drain.

    • gmagic9044 - May 24, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      Rick Ankiel immediately comes to mind. Micah Owings to a much lesser extent too.

      Now, how successful you want to consider Ankiel is another story, but he managed to stick around and be a viable LH option with decent defense/arm for a number of years. So it could happen.

    • tanzkommandant - May 24, 2013 at 11:38 AM

      Babe Ruth.

    • billybawl - May 24, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      I wouldn’t say Babe Ruth flamed out as a pitcher. He would have likely been a HOF pitcher if he hadn’t been even more valuable as a hitter. Ankiel is remarkable if you think about what he did. I think it’s rare, but probably not unheard of, to switch in the minors. Off the top of my head, I can think of position player to pitcher transitions more easily. Sean Doolittle of the A’s being the most recent example — he made it to AAA as a 1B prospect before converting to pitcher at the tail end of 2011.

    • yankeefan1950 - May 24, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      Stan Musial

    • yankeefan1950 - May 24, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      Bob Lemon

    • manchestermiracle - May 24, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      Ok, guys, thanks. I knew about the old-timers, was just wondering if there were any modern-day examples. And sorry for upsetting those thumbs-downing my apparently simple-minded query.

  2. notsofast10 - May 24, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    I don’t know all the details, but at 25 it seems a little early to give up on his pitching. Many pitchers lose it then find it but it takes time and patience!

  3. yankeefan1950 - May 24, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Smokin Joe Wood, and the list goes on

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