As recent as yesterday, Andrew Miller was going to be selected first overall by the Royals. Sometime since then, the Royals and new GM Dayton Moore soured on Miller and began looking at Luke Hochevar as comparable and easier to sign. All the better for the Tigers.
Miller, a powerful lefty from North Carolina had been tabbed the best prospect available by both MLB.com and Baseball America. The 6'6'' 210 lbs. pitcher features a mid-90s fastball and strong slider which has gotten rave reviews.
The only question regarding Miller is how much it'll take to sign him. Kansas City balked at paying him and will likely give Hochevar a $4 million signing bonus. Early reports have suggested that Miller would likely accept a deal similar to the one the Mets gave Mike Pelfry, which included a $5.25 million signing bonus.
The only names mentioned for Detroit in the past few weeks had been Texas CF Drew Stubbs and high schooler Clayton Kershaw.
Stubbs, a toolsy outfielder, could've pushed Cameron Maybin to a corner spot and created one of the most athletic outfields in baseball. Some have praised Stubbs enough to say that he could contend for Gold Gloves now. Stubbs has question marks, though. His bat is not fully developed and it may take time to do so. The Reds selected Stubbs eighth overall and he may be tabbed to take over CF from Ken Griffey Jr.
Clayton Kershaw had been the most predicted pick for the Tigers with the sixth selection. He, like Miller presents a signability problem for the Dodgers, who selected him seventh overall. Kershaw features a mid-90s fastball with a curve and a changeup. He did have an oblique injury earlier in the year; however in his first outing back he struck out all 15 batters he faced.
Assuming the Tigers will be able to sign Miller - with their history of working out deals with Maybin and Verlander, I'm confident they will - they will be getting a great arm. Miller went 12-2 with a 2.26 ERA in 15 starts at UNC.
In a May 19th analysis of the college pitchers available in the 2006 MLB Draft, an unnamed scout had this to say about Miller, "If Kansas City doesn't take him, they're fools." Only time will tell if that turns out to be true, but the Tigers have to be happy with the way things worked out this afternoon.