Vanderbilt Baseball: Brian Miller will give batters motion sickness
So I traveled down to Nashville this past weekend for homecoming. I was blown away by a party at the old fraternity house, ate at a Waffle House twice in the span of 18 hours (somehow survived that) and took in a football victory and two baseball defeats. I’m reserving my full thoughts for later, but I will just say that we’ve got a new member of the WI[S]M all-time Vandy favorites team.
Joining Ryan “Flash” Flaherty, Curt “Mr. President” Casali, Sonny “The King” Gray and Tony “The Man of Steal” Kemp, this freshman righty earns a nickname to pace them all. Brian Miller is a local legend in Middle Tennessee. Among the lore is that, when throwing to his high school team’s backup catcher, he had to flatten out his pitches by throwing overhand because his sidearm delivery created too much movement. I’m immediately imagining some poor 15 year old freshman doing his best Aaron Westlake impersonation behind the plate, helpless to catch a single frisbee slider.
Tougher than the catcher’s experience is that of right handed batters. On Saturday, Miller made several look downright embarrassed and his rubbery arm action on the release earned the nickname Dramamine from me. I would have experienced motion sickness but for concentrating on wiping the huge smile off my face as I watched Vanderbilt’s version of South Carolina’s John Taylor and Jose Mata. Miller gives Corbin a huge weapon that will cause righties fits. Word is that the other Miller (left hander Jared) can cause similar conniptions for left handed batters.
I broke out the camera to capture a bit of Miller’s debut from behind home plate. Click through to give a view and learn a bit more about him.
Miller was the Tennessean’s Middle Tennessee Player of the Year in 2011. You can read about some of his exploits here. Based on what I saw, Miller features a fastball that is mid to upper 80s (the gun wasn’t out at the Hawk this weekend) and a true frisbee slider that probably is upper 70s to the low 80s. Both pitches really move and it appears that he has decent command. In particular, I was impressed with his ability to freeze hitters with sliders on the inside corner, under their arms. He follows that up with tempting frisbees that finish well off the outside corner. Both can be witnessed in the batter above. If he spots his fastball well, he really will have SEC righties feeling sick.
You can learn a bit more about him from his VUCommodores.com introductory interview, embedded below.