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Q&A with Ron Miller (2012 Draft)

May 28, 2012

Ron Miller is a guy I always liked, even when I knew some people would bury him over the body. Hey look, a lot of your so-called draft darlings are pretty ordinary athletes, but Ron’s got something most don’t — quick twitch muscles in his hands, wrists and forearms.

I get tired of reading that power comes from leverage. OK, I can talk down the first base line with a copy of my two books, Willie’s Boys and Bushville Wins, balanced on my head, but it doesn’t mean I can hit the ever-loving snot out of the baseball. Raw power is hard to find; harder to find is a guy who can bring it into a game. Is he the finished product as a hitter? No, of course not, and he’ll have to learn how to use right field enough to be dangerous, otherwise he’s going to run into the Ron-Ron shift. Here’s a sneak peak at your future spray chart defenses: the shortstop and the third baseman will practically be holding hands, the second baseman will be at short, and the center fielder will be way over in left while the left fielder is getting chalk on his spikes down the line. So take that low-and-away slider and drive it right. That’ll really screw them up.

Great example of a non-showcase kid using natural ability to rise above pay-to-play players of inferior natural ability; great example of a guy working hard within the current system we have to make it. I got no problem putting my name on him, I have for a while, and for the last time, I don’t care if he can’t run. Go show ‘em what a ballplayer looks like.

BPR: How old were you when you realized you had the ability to really hit the baseball farther and harder than other guys?

Miller: I first realized it when I was 12 or 13 years old.

BPR: Where were you playing? Were you playing other sports?

Miller: I was coming out of little league and I just started going to the Urban Youth Academy and started taking BP there, and I was really hitting the ball really far there. So I realized it. And I went to the 14 under USA try outs and I’d compete against other kids on the east coast, and I was hitting the ball just as far as them, so that’s when I realized.

BPR: Did the Academy help you?

Miller: Yeah, the Academy helped me a lot.

BPR: Tell me what they did.

Miller: They helped me a lot when I was younger, for traveling and going to play in Australia, and going to play in 14 under USA tryouts in Florida, going to Arizona for USA. So they helped me a lot when I was younger.

BPR: So that’s where you realized you had the raw power. Were you just a baseball player? Did you play football?

Miller: I did nothing else. I just started playing when I was nine years old, and that’s when I started playing little league.

BPR: Was your dad a baseball guy?

Miller: My mom was a softball player, and my uncle played in the minor leagues for a couple years with the Royals. My dad just loves to watch baseball. He doesn’t play. My brother played baseball too.

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BPR: Tell me about your progress now. Where are you for you.

Miller: Right now, I work out every day by myself. Two days a week I have my coach throw BP to me, groundballs to me, but the other days of the week I’m working out by myself. I go running by myself. I hit by myself. So, I’m pretty much doing everything by myself. After school, I leave school and just go work out, come home and do homework. And when school is out, I have more time to workout, so I get stronger and faster.

BPR: So you have a lot of dedication and commitment to this?

Miller: Yes.

BPR: What motivates you to do that?

Miller: To play in the big leagues.

BPR: Are you pretty proud with how far you’ve come here? And do you feel that you’ve helped your reputation? First time a lot of people saw you it’s going to be, oh little short, fat kid. Now you’re taller, thinned out, worked hard. You have this big barrel chest, massive shoulders and forearms to go with it. Do you think that you’ve helped yourself, your reputation, your stock?

Miller: I think I helped myself coming out here, because at Serra, we don’t play against a lot of competition, we don’t play that many games. Tanner told me about this, and I always knew Mike. I met Mike when I was in the 9th grade, so I always knew about this. I finally had a chance to come out here, and now I’m playing with a lot of good kids, a lot of D-1 kids. I get to play with Tanner. I get to play in front of a lot of scouts. I get to play better competition, and it’s wood.

BPR: Where do you see yourself defensively?

Miller: Defensively, I really like third base. I like first a lot too. The outfield, I like it. It’s fun. I really like third base, though. I like it the most. I like corner fields the most.

BPR: Any explanation for the bat speed? God-given?

Miller: Yeah, I think it’s god-given.

BPR: I think so too.

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