Padres Prospect Interview: Drew Miller

Drew Miller had his ups and downs in 2007 for the Low-A Fort Wayne Wizards. At times he looked dominant but injuries curtailed his development and kept him out of the Instructional League. The right-hander talked about the season and his plan moving forward.

Talk to me about the season and whether it met your expectations.

Drew Miller: It didn't really meet my expectations. I had hoped to have a little bit better year. My strikeouts to walks ratio was better – that was one main goal I got. I caught a little bit too much of the plate.

Going from here, I am trying to locate the fastball a little bit better and stay healthy.

Let's talk about the injuries. You had the oblique injury late in the year and the shoulder early on.

Drew Miller: I had four starts before I had a shoulder strain – I don't know exactly what the diagnosis was. I had an MRI and it came back clean. They sat me out for about seven weeks. After that I started to get on a roll and put together some good innings but at the end my oblique started bothering me and that ended the season.

When you get that shoulder injury early on do you fear that you might lose a year here?

Drew Miller: Yea, but the main concern is being ok. I was worried sick about my shoulder not ever coming back. Once I found that out, everything else was fine once you figure out your shoulder is ok.

Last year in Eugene you were introduced to the changeup and it probably came in a little too hard at that time.

Drew Miller: I was throwing the changeup really hard at that time. It was almost a two-seamer. Now it is starting to slow down and come together.

I had a few problems in Fort Wayne where I left it up and that is where most of my homeruns came from. It is getting better. I have to get better command of it and miss down when I miss.

You talked about working on the location of the fastball – is that a primary focus?

Drew Miller: This year I was mainly throwing a four-seam, which at higher levels I know will not work. I started working on my two-seam – and I have only worked on it since Instructional League. I am just trying to get the movement down – start it down the middle of the plate and not try and hit the corners, letting the hitters hit it and not worrying about missing bats.

Did you feel like your two-strike approach was, ‘I have to blow this hitter away.'

Drew Miller: I used to but not anymore. I kind of just throw a curveball or changeup or my fastball. The fastball I elevate or come inside a little more. The curveballs – I try and get ground balls, fly balls, whatever it takes to get them out.

You mentioned going to Instructs and I know the oblique was still bothering you. What could you accomplish out there?

Drew Miller: Listening and learning – learning from everyone else's mistakes. Listening to (Bill) Bryk and Cooch (Mike Couchee) and Wally (Whitehurst) and Razor (Dave Rajsich) – trying to learn a little more about the game.

What will the rest of the off-season be like for you?

Drew Miller: Me and Hefner will be living together and working out a lot together, having fun and relaxing a little bit. I will work on the things I need to work on.

Is there an area of your game you think has really improved over the last year?

Drew Miller: I feel like mechanics are really good right now. I am pretty comfortable with them. There are a few things arm slot-wise that I need to tweak but other than that my mechanics are very fine. I need to work on the consistent arm slot.

When you went from the four-seam to the two-seam and began working on that, were you afraid you might lose three miles per hour off your fastball?

Drew Miller: No, I think it is expected because you have that movement there. Whenever you take off the velocity and add the movement it is basically the same pitch, but harder to hit. It's harder to hit.

MadFriars Top Stories