“My athleticism plays, especially on defense but also on the bases,” he said. “I think I’m fun to watch there. Defense, I’m usually in the right positions at the right times. I really take pride in my defense, especially these last two years. Just my athleticism I think is really fun to watch. Hitting wise, get some consistency in me and start hitting for a little bit of pop and I think it’ll be fun on that side, too.”
It’s an oft-used sentiment, but sometimes a change of scenery can make a difference. The Braves see a player who provides solid organization depth with the potential to perhaps develop into a contributor. Miller gets the chance to jumpstart his career where his earliest ambitions were dreamt.
Miller’s family had season tickets down the first-base line at Turner Field, where he made countless memories as early as the 2000 All-Star game. Miller’s favorite player was Andruw Jones — someone he’s excited to soon meet — followed by Chipper Jones and Rafael Furcal. But it isn’t just the past that’s familiar. Miller is longtime friends with two of the Braves’ rising prospects: outfielders Trey Harris and Drew Waters, who also are from metro Atlanta.
“I grew up playing with Trey Harris since we’ve been 11 or 12,” Miller said. “He was one of the first guys I called. Drew Waters and I have been lifting together since he was 14 and I was 16, maybe. Every time we see each other we talk about that and how excited we are to get going. I think the new influence of being so close to home and just seeing familiar faces on the field that you grinded with even before you were in pro ball, that motivates and excites me a lot to get going.”
The reality is Rule 5 draft picks rarely register on the radar at the time of selection; minor-league Rule 5 picks almost never do. But Miller’s baseline talent creates intrigue, and his story will be one worth monitoring when he resumes his bid to ascend the minors.
He hopes that his journey’s final destination is about five minutes down the road from where it began.
“Being able to watch the Braves on TV, especially what they did in the playoffs last year, it’s really cool,” Miller said. “I’m excited to be in that type of environment. It looks like everybody is having fun out there. They’re all together. Just talking to Trey and Drew, it seems like it’s that way throughout the minors, too. So I see where all that energy comes from. You see how everyone continues to progress and do well. I’m just excited to be part of that culture now.”