Credit: AP Photo | John Raoux

Comeback Kid: Adam Miller Returns to Indians

Former Prospect, Adam Miller, Looks to Continue Comeback

One year after providing Scott Kazmir the platform for one of the most remarkable comebacks in recent baseball history, the Indians are on a mission to do it all over again in 2014. However, this time around the player in question is a familiar face. On Tuesday, the Indians announced they had signed former top pitching prospect Adam Miller to a minor league deal. He has reported to minor league camp.

If you recall, Adam Miller was once the crown jewel of the Indians minor league system. Drafted in the first round of the 2003 amateur draft, Miller came to the Indians with the goal of becoming the next great starting in the history of the franchise. Armed with a phenomenal fastball and assortment of other pitches, the sky was the limit for Miller.

Unfortunately, it just wasn’t meant to be.

Like most prospects that never achieve the promise of their expectations, injuries would ultimately doom Adam Miller. More specifically, an injury to the middle finger of his right hand in 2007 led to numerous surgeries and missed time. Ultimately, Miller underwent an experimental procedure to repair the pulley ligaments in said finger. As a result, the tip of the middle finger on his throwing hand is permanently bent.

Ultimately, in an attempt to save his career, Adam Miller made the transition from starting pitcher to reliever. Unfortunately for both the Indians and Miller, the change just did not work out and he was released in 2012. Miller signed on with the Yankees in the hopes that a change of scenery would do him good. It didn’t work out and Miller was released following the 2012 season.

In 2013, Adam Miller spent the season with the Sugarland Skeeters of the Independent League. While with Sugarland, Miller made 36 appearances and posted a 4.79 ERA. Not bad for a player in Miller’s situation, but not great by any means. 

Now, granted a second chance by the Indians, Adam Miller will look to realize his dream of being a major league pitcher. While the odds are stacked against him and the chances of him seeing time in a big league uniform this season are next to nil, this is a classic low risk/high reward signing by the Indians. If it works out, it ends up being a great story and maybe provides them with a talented reliever. If not, then it was by no means a financial risk. If anything, this shows how classy the Indians organization is. Knowing that Miller is closer now than he was two seasons ago, they are giving him another chance to realize a dream. There is something to be said about that.

As for Adam Miller, signing with the Indians provides him a chance to handle some unfinished business. After failing to live up to expectations the first time around with the Indians, there is probably nothing Miller would like more than to repay the Indians for their commitment to him over all those years.

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