Owen Miller has been nothing short of scorching over the first half of June.The Padres' No. 23 prospect went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs to power Double-A Amarillo to an 11-6 win over Tulsa on Saturday night at Hodgetown.
Owen Miller has been nothing short of scorching over the first half of June.
The Padres' No. 23 prospect went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs to power Double-A Amarillo to an 11-6 win over Tulsa on Saturday night at Hodgetown.
"Any night where you're picking the ball up early is a good night," Miller said, "and I was able to get pitches to drive and put good swings on them."
Miller's line drive homer, a solo shot, came in the fifth inning against reliever Nolan Long.
"A couple of innings before that, it was kind of stormy and the wind started howling out to right," Miller said. "I knew that if I put a good swing on it, any ball that was hit decent out to right was gettin' outta here."
He had RBI singles in the first and second against starter and Dodgers No. 20 prospect Edwin Uceta and another base hit in the eighth off Chris Nunn.
"Both at-bats I put myself in good hitters' counts and I just tried to stick with my approach and use the middle of the field," Miller said of his hits against Uceta, "just so I'm able to hit any fastball or off-speed pitch."
The four hits tied his career high, set most recently on May 13 against Midland.
Gameday box score
The 22-year-old shortstop raised his average in June to .352 (19-for-54) with two dingers and 10 RBIs in 13 games. It's Miller's third multi-hit game in a row and the fifth straight contest in which he's hit safely. Overall, he raised his line to .313/.367/.448 with 21 extra-base hits, including seven homers, and 37 RBIs in 64 Texas League games.
Miller said he hasn't really changed anything he's done at the plate through this season and tries to not get too high or too low, regardless of how well he's doing.
"I just try to stay consistent and even-keeled as far as my mind-set," he said.
Miller was the Padres' third-round pick in last year's Draft out of Illinois State. The Wisconsin native split last summer between Class A Short Season Tri-City and Class A Fort Wayne, batting .336/.386/.460 with 26 extra-base hits and 33 RBIs in 75 games. He got a taste of Double-A at the end of last season for San Antonio, where he played eight postseason games.
"Three months before that, I was just playing college baseball," he said.
Miller thought there was a good possibility he'd skip the California League and start the year in Amarillo. And it took some time for him to adjust to the more advanced pitching in the Texas League.
"The whole game is just faster," he said. "But I noticed after a couple of weeks of seeing more pitching and getting used to guys throwing harder, I was able to see it better and really compete better and have good at-bats."
Taylor Kohlwey homered twice and drove in three runs for the Sod Poodles, while 19th-ranked Padres prospect Edward Olivares contributed two hits and scored twice.
Tulsa did all of its scoring in the seventh, which Dodgers No. 26 prospect Cristian Santana capped with his second career grand slam.
Shlomo Sprung is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/sprungonsports>@sprungonsports