While the University of Alabama football team prepares for tonight’s National Championship Game again Notre Dame, the team would appear to have locked up a new recruit for next season. According to a report by Matt Scalici of Alabama.com, former outfielder Jai Miller has enrolled in classes at the university and will join the football team upon the conclusion of the season. Scalici says that Miller has already discussed the move with Head Coach Nick Saban and he’ll likely start out on the defensive side of the ball.
Miller had been a highly touted recruit coming out of high school, receiving offers to attend Alabama, Auburn, and others on full football scholarships. Many believed he’d choose to attend Alabama when he arrived on decision day in team apparel, but he surprised everyone by announcing he had agreed to attend Stanford instead. He’d never actually set foot on campus, however, after being selected in the 2003 Draft (4th Round) by the then Florida Marlins. Miller opted to sign and pursue a baseball career instead of attending Stanford.
Miller was never much of an offensive threat during his 10 year minor league career. He spent the better part of the past five at Triple-A, hitting a combined .263/.347/.503 at the level in 476 games. The soon-to-be 28 year old Miller had three brief stints in the Major Leagues – with the Marlins in 2008, the Royals in 2010, and the A’s in 2011 – but only managed to get into 28 career games. He hit .235/.288/.368 over 73 plate appearances in that span.
This past season he spent with the Baltimore Orioles organization, splitting his time between Double-A and Triple-A. He batted a collective .196/.299/.365 on the year in 364 plate appearances.