Former Chatham A’s southpaw Andrew Miller will be joining fellow Cape League and North Carolina alum Daniel Bard on the Boston Red Sox pitching staff.
The hard-throwing Miller was obtained on Nov. 12 in a trade with the Florida Marlins for relief pitcher Dustin Richardson. The 6-6, 200-pound hurler is with his third club in four years.
For two summers with Chatham, Miller shut down the best college players in the country with remarkable ease. The flame-throwing southpaw finished his 2004 season (2-0, 2.03 ERA, 48 K in 40 IP) by being named the Cape League’s No. 1 Major League prospect by Baseball America.
He re-joined the A’s in 2005 after a strong sophomore campaign in Chapel Hill. The Gainesville, Fla., native went 8-4 with a 2.98 ERA and 104 strikeouts for the Tar Heels before becoming part of a talented Chatham pitching staff that included Robert Woodard, Jared Hughes and Derrick Lutz.
Miller posted a 6-0 record during the summer of 2005 with Chatham. In 49 innings, he struck out 66 batters, good for fifth best league-wide, and posted a sparkling 1.65 ERA. He put the icing on the cake by being selected the Robert A. McNeece Outstanding Pro Prospect Award and shared the B.F.C Whitehouse Outstanding Pitcher Award with hard-throwing right-hander Tim Norton of Falmouth.
For the second consecutive year, Miller was named a CCBL All-Star. His appearance in the 2004 classic was spectacular as he fanned all three batters he faced on just 15 pitches.
Ironically, Miller and Bard were opposing pitchers in the 2005 CCBL All-Star Game in Hyannis, a mid-summer classic that also included future major league hurlers such as two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum and side-winding right-hander Justin Masterson. Miller struck out two of the three West All-Stars he faced.
After pitching brilliantly all summer, he started Game 1 of the East Division playoffs in 2005 against Orleans, pitching eight innings and striking out 10.
Miller, who was clocked at 98 mph, was the sixth overall selection in the 2006 MLB Draft, signing a contract with the Detroit Tigers. He made his major league debut against the New York Yankees that summer and the next season hurled an eight-inning shutout against Boston that obviously impressed Red Sox brass en route to a 5-5 record and a 5.63 ERA.
In late 2007, he was traded from Detroit to the Marlins. Injuries hurt his chances in Florida, and eventually led to his recent trade to the Red Sox.
Miller has compiled a career 15-26 record and a 5.50 ERA. At 25, he still has a chance to improve and make a big mark for the Red Sox under new pitching coach Curt Young, who guided Oakland's staff to the lowest ERA (3.58) in the American League last season.