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Player Notes: Damien Magnifico, Mikie Mahtook, Brad Miller

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Damien Magnifico
Damien Magnifico
Kyle Laferriere-US PRESSWIRE

More draft comments from the 2013 Baseball Prospect Book.

Damien Magnifico, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-1 WT: 185 DOB: May 24, 1991

University of Oklahoma right-hander Damien Magnifico has a cool name. He also has a 100 MPH fastball, and that isn't something that he just touches now and then; on a bad day he's at 95-97 and most of the time he pitches at 98-100. He lasted until the fifth round in the draft because the fastball is all he has. Well that's not true actually; he also has a history of elbow trouble. Magnifico's slider and changeup are below average, he had problems throwing strikes in the Pioneer League, and he's just too hittable for a guy who throws this hard. Reports from fall instructional league indicate that Magnifico made progress with a power breaking ball, but we'll have to see if that shows up in the spring. High-ceiling Grade C.

Mikie Mahtook, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-1 WT: 200 DOB: November 30, 1989

Drafted in the first round in 2011 out of Louisiana State, Mikie Mahtook had a decent but somewhat disappointing season in 2012. Coming out of the draft, I thought he was underrated actually: everyone acknowledged his tremendous performance in college, but many people rated his tools as merely average. Others felt that his tools were better than his reputation, and I was among those optimists. Mahtook hit well in the Florida State League (wRC+ 120) while demonstrating good speed and fielding ability, but his hitting was clipped in Double-A (wRC+ 98) and people who saw him late in the year weren't especially impressed with him. The general consensus is that Mahtook has few real weaknesses, but no massive strengths, profiling as a tweener/fourth outfielder or second-division regular. I might just be stubborn; I still like him and expect/hope that he'll take a step forward in 2013. But enough doubt has crept in to dock his grade slightly. Grade B-.

Brad Miller, SS, Seattle Mariners
Bats: L Throws: R HT: 6-2 WT: 185 DOB: October 18, 1989

Brad Miller is one of my favorite prospects. A second round pick out of Clemson in 2011, Miller has a fast bat from the left side. He makes contact, controls the strike zone very well, and shows more power potential than most middle infielders. His numbers in the Cal League were not an illusionary result of High Desert, and he continued raking after being promoted to Double-A (wRC+ 151, OPS +24 percent, SEC .326 in the Southern League). If anything, people are still underestimating his bat. Miller also has better-than-average speed and is an effective stealer. His main problem is defense. He has sufficient range and arm strength to handle shortstop, but remains error-prone on routine plays, particularly throws. He showed some improvement with this late in the year, and if I were the Mariners I'd leave him at shortstop as long as possible. Even if he moves to second base, Miller's hitting skills make him a premium property. Grade B+.