Jai Miller, a 27-year-old outfielder who played briefly in the majors for the Royals, A’s, and Marlins, is quitting baseball to play college football at the University of Alabama.
Miller was the Marlins’ fourth-round pick out of high school in 2003 and opted for baseball over football then, but after 10 seasons in the minors and only 68 at-bats in the majors he’s making the switch.
Back in 2003 he had offers from numerous big-time football programs, including Alabama, and officially committed to Stanford before going pro as a baseball player. According to BamaOnline.com the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Miller is expected to play defensive back for Nick Saban.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: