Mills has been in the Washington Nationals organization since 2014, but this year is his first year playing in a full-season league. With the Suns, he has been one of the best pitchers in the South Atlantic League. He is 11-2 with a 2.70 ERA and opponents are hitting .198 against him in 16 starts.
You have to go back to May 8 to find the last time that Mills lost a start. While wins and losses are not the only stat that defines a pitcher, Mills has been the definition of consistent. The 21-year-old left-hander has gone five innings in every start and has struck out eight batters or more in four of his last five starts.
Mills made the South Atlantic League All-Star team this season, but did not pitch in the game. Back in May, Ryan Sullivan of Nats GM did his scouting report on Mills and talked about how he has to improve his offspeed pitches:
"“Overslot 18th round pick in 2015 ($150,000), this 21.5 y/o has a tremendous physique and a left-handed arm that can reach the mid-90s. However, his inability to repeat his mechanics and struggles to spin a breaking ball limits his profile and eventual ceiling.”"
It’s not unprecedented for the Nats to trade someone from Hagerstown at the deadline. Last season, when they acquired Mark Melancon from the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Nats dealt away Taylor Hearn, who appeared in games for the Suns, along with Felipe Rivero.
Mills and Tyler Watson have been at the head of the Suns rotation during the season. Even if it’s Mills gets promoted soon, he will be one of the young pitching prospects other teams take a look at.
Finally, let’s look at one of the possible untouchables that have been battling injury all season.