Although Clemson will be losing one of their most reliable arms out of the bullpen, senior righty Ryan Miller is about to take the next step in achieving his dreams as he was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the sixth round of the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft as the No. 189 overall pick.
“I was by my apartment’s pool,” Miller told The Clemson Insider referring to when he found out he had been drafted. “I actually started the day at the baseball facility and I watched the first round of Tuesday’s draft there.
“Then I started to get a little nervous, a little excited and a little bit antsy so I decided I needed to leave and go somewhere I could relax a little bit so I went to the pool and that’s where I got the call.”
Miller was drafted last year as a junior by the Atlanta Braves in the 31stround (No. 920 overall) but decided to return to Clemson for his senior season and that decision paid off for him.
As the main reliever out of the bullpen this season, Miller excelled at taking the mound in high pressure situations and shutting opponents down. He led the Tigers with a 7-1 record in 26 appearances during the 2018 season.
“It’s all that I could’ve ever hoped for,” Miller said after finding out the Diamondbacks selected him. “I knew that coming back as a senior, most of the time as a senior you’re not going to have the high draft pick that you want or the money isn’t going to be there.
“Honestly it was about getting my name out there and kind of proving that I was better than the 31stround pick that I was last year. The coaches did an incredible job helping me this past year and getting me past my injury. They just set me up for success the whole year and it worked out.”
Miller, who is a junior college transfer originally from Venice, Fla. is so thankful to have found a home within Clemson. He especially credits the Tigers’ pitching coach, Andrew See in helping him to truly discover his value as a pitcher.
“I’ve learned (at Clemson) that you can be yourself,” Miller said. “It’s kind of hard to explain but you don’t have to model your game after someone else. You can be yourself and develop yourself to the point where you want your game to go.
“I think that’s what Coach See our pitching coach does a good job of. He doesn’t take pitchers and make them cookie cutter like. He takes them for who they are and helps them in a way that they’re used to throwing. That was a big key for me.”
Not only does Miller credit See for helping him develop into the ball player he is today but also Mark Guthrie, a former MLB pitcher who has been a coach and role model to Miller throughout his entire life.
“I was actually friends with his son Dalton (Guthrie) and Dalton won a National Championship with Florida last year,” Miller said. “He coached me from the time I was seven years old until I was about 18, so all of the way through middle school and high school. He played in the big leagues for 15 years or so.
“But right out of the gate he taught me how to play the game the right way, respect the game, play the game as hard as you can. He played the game for so long, he definitely knew what he was talking about. Getting all of the fundamentals down, he was a huge help for me.”