After a stellar four-year career at Pepperdine University, Corey Miller was selected in the 10th round of this year’s draft by the Oakland A’s. The right-hander spent most of his first professional season pitching for the Vermont Lake Monsters and acclimating himself to professional baseball. Miller will be continuing his first pro season this fall at the A’s Instructional League camp.
The 6’3’’ right-hander posted a 2.72 ERA in 327 career innings at Pepperdine. Miller didn’t strike-out a lot of guys in college, but he pounded the lower part of the strike-zone, generating a lot of groundballs and using his defense effectively. Miller came to the pros with a high-80s fastball, a slider and a change-up.
After a short stint with the Arizona Rookie League A’s to start his career, Miller moved up to Vermont. He started nine games and relieved in three for the Lake Monsters. In 40.2 innings, Miller posted a 4.65 ERA. He allowed only two homeruns and had a 2.00 GO/AO, but his K:BB was 29:16.
Miller spoke with Donald Moore during the Lake Monsters’ final road trip about his first pro experience, his strengths as a pitcher and more…
Donald Moore: How is everything going for you this season?
Corey Miller: It's going good. It's just been an adjustment, just adjusting to the new playing style, playing everyday, and the playing level. The competition up here is a lot better. It's just been fun getting to know all these guys and traveling everywhere.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
CM: As of right now, coming off a long season in college, my goal is just to be ready to compete and go out there an adjust to this new lifestyle and just try to take it all in.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ball player?
CM: I'd say my command. Command would probably be up there. I just try to attack hitters with what I’ve got. Try to get quick outs.
DM: What would you like to improve on?
CM: Obviously, velocity. It's not that I throw that slow when I get up there. I just want to be an all-around a better ball player. I mean, there is always room for improvement for guys like us and that's why we are down here right now.
DM: What do you like best about being a professional ball player?
CM: Right there. Being able to say you are a professional ball player. It's something me and probably all of us wanted to do our entire lives. So playing the game you love for a living, you cannot ask for anything better.
DM: Any pregame routine?
CM: Just really hanging out. Some of us play some cards and I try to keep it loose and simple, just act like it’s a normal day and try not put too much pressure on myself, and try to have fun.
DM: Favorite thing you like to do off the field?
CM: Hanging out and I love watching movies and going fishing. I used to love to snowboard, but I can't do that anymore, but really just hanging out.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
CM: My dad. My dad was a pitcher when he was younger, had a scholarship to go to USC, out of high school, but unfortunately wasn't able to go because of an injury and it ended his career. The knowledge he shared with me, the work ethic and everything is one of the main reasons why I'm here.
DM: Craziest thing you have ever seen on a baseball diamond?
CM: I haven't really seen a lot of crazy things and but I heard a lot of crazy things. A lot of profanity, but I guess one of the coolest things was catching Pamela Anderson's first pitch.
DM: Where do you see yourself in your future with your professional career?
CM: Hopefully, as a starter in the starting rotation for the Oakland Athletics, or any other team that wants me. My goal is to be the best that I can with the team that I am with, whether that be the A's or anyone else. I want to help them win a World Series and just win.
DM: Corey thank you so much for your time and the best of luck to you.
CM: Of course and thank you. I appreciate it.