It’s Miller time at the Fort Wayne TinCaps

Ozaukee High School grad catches fire early as he moves up in the minor leagues

BASEBALL RECENTLY BECAME a family affair for the Miller family in Fort Wayne. Owen Miller (above left, center) was visited by (from left) cousin Matt Miller, aunt Pattie, brother Noah, parents Tom and Rose Miller, brother Loren, cousin Natalie Miller and uncle Tim Miller.
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

It’s safe to say Owen Miller is enjoying his time in the San Diego Padres’ minor league system.
The numbers don’t lie.
Miller was recently promoted from Class A Short Season to Class A, which also brought him closer to home. Miller moved from the Tri-City Dust Devils in Pasco, Wash., to the TinCaps in Fort Wayne, Ind.
The transition was a hit right off the bat — literally. Miller clocked one home run in each of his first two games with the TinCaps and is hitting .360 in his first six games.
He said he played in a couple of parks that are more hitter friendly, and “maybe I just felt comfortable being back in the Midwest.”
Several family members have already visited Miller. His parents had planned a trip to Washington but canceled it when their son got promoted.
The shortstop had been tearing it up with his first team, the Tri-City Dust Devils.
In 49 games, Miller led the team in hitting with a .335 average and led the Northwest League in hits with 64.
He was selected to the all-star game in which his Northwest League took on the Pioneer Baseball League in Grand Junction, Colo., on Aug. 7. Miller had a single, sacrifice fly and two RBI in a thrilling 13-10 loss.
“The game was awesome. It was fun, really high scoring,” he said.
The banquet the night before wasn’t so bad, either, for the traveling baseball player who often eats on the run.
“It was good to eat some good home-cooked food,” he said.
Before the game, Miller took in the home run derby and signed autographs for fans.
Now, he is getting to know his new teammates. A couple of Dust Devils have joined him on the TinCaps.
“It’s been fun, a mix of younger players and college guys,” he said.
After the TinCaps’ season ends in early September, Miller will play in a fall instructional league at the Padres’ training facility in Peoria, Ariz. Then he gets to play three games at Petco Park in San Diego — where the Padres play — before coming home for the offseason.
Before being drafted in the third round with the 84th overall pick, Miller played three years at Illinois State, where he succeeded Paul DeJong, now the starting shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals.
He hit .328 as a freshman, .325 as a sophomore and .384 as a junior, including a .433 on-base percentage. In his junior season, Miller broke the school’s single-season record for hits with 88 and scored 45 runs in 52 games, the second most on the team.
At Ozaukee High School, Miller played baseball his freshman season and was selected the team’s most valuable player before playing his final three years in high school with the Hitters Baseball club team in Racine. In basketball, Miller broke the Warriors’ scoring record with 1,115 points.
Miller reiterated his gratitude for his community back home for support and encouragement since being drafted in June.
For more information on the TinCaps, visit www.milb.com/fort-wayne.

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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