Adam Milligan Scouting Report (2009)
As I sit in my hotel room about a block from Centennial park, I can’t help but think about the Braves fans who have been gracious enough to post questions about prospects such as J.J. Hoover, Julio Teheran, and Adam Milligan, and how I have yet to complete prospect reports on a handful of talented Braves prospects. As an olive branch, I wanted to build on some fun family time in Atlanta and post a scouting report on Milligan for my handful of Braves faithful who follow the blog closely.
In 245 “Sally” at bats, Adam Milligan posted a .345/.393/.589 sandwiched between a smattering of at bats in both rookie ball and high A. Between the Braves drafting him three times and his dominating debut, I was expecting to see a complete hitter with power to spare, but came away from the three-game set feeling as if I had experienced deja vu because I’ve already seen Braves prospect Cody Johnson in person!
Physique and Athleticism – Milligan is a hulking presence. Listed at 6’3″, 210 lbs, I’d be surprised if his actual weight was not closer to 225 lbs. A former football player, he was tight through the shoulders and his lower body was extremely muscular and well-developed. While this doesn’t bode well for further physical development, Milligan already has a big league body. However, as with other former football playing batters I’ve seen, Milligan struggled to adjust his swing plane causing contact issues. While I can not guarantee this is due to tightness and size through the shoulders, it has become a recurring theme when I watch former football players who profile as potential power hitters.
Offense – In striking out half of his at bats in the series, Milligan showed a propensity to swing-and-miss; often badly. His swing had a tendency to become long and he struggled to catch up to average fastballs up in the zone due to a failure to generate bat speed. When he did make contact, the ball jumped off of his bat as he skied three or four balls to the warning track after failing to square up on mistakes. He was unable to muster anything positive off of pitches which were not “dead red”. While his strikeout percentage (21.8%) was not terrible, his walk rate (5.8%) left plenty to be desired. How Milligan posted a .403 BABIP is beyond me, but once that number regresses to the mean, his top ten prospect status in the Braves organization may very well be rescinded.
Defense – Milligan served as both designated hitter and left-fielder during the series. He made routine plays, but showed a somewhat below average outfield arm and limited range. While his range could be attributed to poor jumps due to a lack of experience, he’s an borderline average defender at best until his instincts improve. To be successful, Milligan’s bat will have to be his calling card as I am just not sure he has the type of game needed to make an impact defensively, or on the base paths.
Speed – With four stolen bases in nine attempts, it’s safe to say Milligan is not going to win any stolen base titles. While it’s hard to gauge a runner’s speed when he never has the opportunity to hustle out a play, Milligan could eventually become more base clogger than base-running asset.
While I wait for the hate mail to start rolling in because the Adam Milligan train has not yet left my station, I will work on editing the half dozen or so videos of Milligan’s swing and let readers try to talk me into joining the Adam Milligan fan club. Until this happens, I’m sticking to my initial feeling of his being one of the more disappointing players I saw this season.
When readers begin to break down the video on Milligan, I’m confident they will also see through the stat induced coma which placed him in Baseball America’s top ten Braves prospects list and refocus on Jason Heyward and the organization’s dynamic young arms as they progress through the system. Milligan makes a tremendous first impression based on physique, but his game just does not justify the excitement he is causing.
23 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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