When Andrew Miller joined the Miami Marlins system, a few were slightly confused.
As this offseason comes to an end, we’re finishing up our five-month long series on every player in the Miami Marlins system in 2018. Today’s second player, Andrew Miller, is the 278th of 286.
Andrew James Miller is a 6’3″, 195 lb. lefty-batting and throwing pitcher from Stratford, New Jersey, population 7,015. Although nobody from Stratford has ever advanced to the major leagues, six have been drafted. Pitcher Kevin Dougherty advanced the furthest, playing with the double-A Reading Phillies in 2004.
Miller was born on December 15th, 1996, and attended Sterling HS in Somerdale, NJ. In the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft, the New York Yankees chose Miller in the 34th round, 1,023rd overall. He did not sign, electing instead to pursue higher education at the University of Maryland.
In 2016, Miller appeared in 10 games for the Terrapins, and allowed 20 baserunners in only seven innings. His 11.57 ERA left a little to be desired as well, but he did demonstrate swing-and-miss-ability, whiffing nine batters in the small sample size.
Miller played another season of Division I ball for the Big 10 team in 2017, and demonstrated increased mastery of his craft. In 20 relief appearances, he was 2-2 with three saves. Miller struck out 17 batters and allowed only nine hits in 18 innings, holding batters to a .170 average while walking only six.
The Miami Marlins were paying attention, and chose him in the 40th round of the 2018 MLB Amateur Entry Draft. When Miller was first selected, there were more than a few metaphoric double-takes due to his name. Of course, before the more-famous Andrew Miller was an all-star relief pitcher, he was a pretty lousy starter for the Florida Marlins.
Taken with the 1,197th overall selection, this Miller could someday be the second player taken at that position to play in the majors. Preceding him is Sean Spencer (1996, Seattle Mariners, -0.1 career WAR).
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Miller signed with the Miami Marlins for a way-above slot bonus of $150,000. For their money, they got two innings out of him – but he will pitch more later, I’m sure. They assigned him to the rookie-level, Florida-based GCL Marlins, in the Gulf Coast League. On August 15th, he made his professional debut against the GCL Astros, and allowed one run on one hit while striking out two in a 10-6 victory. A week later, on August 22nd, he gave up a hit and struck a batter out in a scoreless relief inning, in a 7-2 victory against the GCL Nationals.
Miller is still rostered with the GCL Marlins, but expect him to quickly get called up to the short-season-A Batavia Muckdogs in the New York-Penn League.
Thanks for reading. Check back tomorrow for the 279th and 280th chapters of the every-Marlins-player series, with Isan Diaz and Rafael Ortega.