The Tampa Bay Tays took what was likely a discount pick in the 7th round with Mike Franco, and they took another one in the 8th round in college senior 3B Daniel Miles from Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Tennessee. This pick allows the Rays to ensure they can sign all their early draft picks, but Miles does not come without intrigue.
Daniel Miles started his career at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, where he first established himself as a solid hitter during his sophomore year. He would then transfer to Tennessee Tech, where he hit .337/.411/.603 with 12 homers in 2013. He followed that up with a .380/.481/.599 line this year, including 11 home runs and 54 RBIs. As these stats show, Miles has nice contact ability and has pop in his bat, and at 6’2”, 190 pounds there is room to add a few pounds of muscle. However, he stands out from typical small school power bats because of his sound plate approach. Many small school guys with power numbers do not have plate approaches that hold up against much more rigorous competition in pro ball. But as evidenced by his 39-21 BB-K ratio this season, Miles’ plate approach could hold up against better pitching. Defensively his frame means he could stick at third, and he put up a .945 fielding percentage there in 2014, a solid mark for a college 3B. The poor competition that he faced in college, as well as the fact he is a senior rather than a junior, is what caused him to be considered an underwhelming prospect in this draft. Maybe he is a reach pick from a small school, but you can do a lot worse than a guy with some pop and a sound plate approach that will sign below slot.