Chicago Cubs: The curious case of starting pitcher Tyson Miller

Mandatory Credit: Matthew Stockman /Allsport
Mandatory Credit: Matthew Stockman /Allsport /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Climbing the ranks

Miller became the highest selected player drafted out of California Baptist University after the Cubs drafted the lanky righty in the fourth round of the 2016 player draft. In the 2014 draft, a guy by the name of Trevor Oaks had carried that title before Miller surpassed him.

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The 2015 season at California Baptist would be Miller’s final year, as he held opponents to a 3.32 ERA as well as a paltry .236 average and recorded 85 strikeouts. The best start of his year came at Holy Names, where Miller hurled eight shutout innings, allowing a single hit. He deservedly earned his vote to the All-PacWest second team and even earned ‘pitcher of the week’ one week.

An advantage to Miller’s game and one thing which undoubtedly stood out to the Cubs about Miller is his frame, as he stands at 6 feet 2, 200 pounds. Primarily utilizing his fastball, Miller has been able to work it up to 93-mph. With assistance from the coaches, a thought exists for Miller that he could be a great pitcher someday in the big leagues.

Outside of his fastball, Miller possesses a slider which has been devastating at moments. He is continuing to progress with his slider, yet the ability is there, and if he can continue to work it well, Miller could develop it into a plus secondary option to use.

His first year in pro baseball, Miller saw just 28 2/3 innings of work, pitching to a respectable 3.97 ERA between Rookie league and Low-A. His strikeout rate went from 14.3% to 14.9%, which his walk rate significantly decreased from 14.3% in his first year in the league to just over four at 4.3%. Unfortunately, Miller subsequently posted a 5.36 FIP, as his ground ball percentage dropped slightly and he was giving up home runs to 12.9% of hitters.