July 5, 2007
The Notre Dame baseball team recently completed its highly-regarded recruiting class by signing righthanded pitcher Todd Miller (Franklin, Tenn.) to a national letter-of-intent during the 2007 spring signing period. Miller joins 10 signees from the 2006 fall period and two-sport talent Golden Tate – a Notre Dame football signee (receiver/DB) who could compete for time with the Irish baseball team in center field – to provide the the Irish with a talented collection of 12 newcomers, a group that is likely to rank among the nation’s top-10 incoming classes for the 2008 season.
Miller (pictured) could join two-sport star Golden Tate as the first Tennessee natives ever to monogram on the same Notre Dame baseball team.
Miller joins fellow righthanders Evan Danieli, Brian Dupra and Ryan Sharpley in giving Notre Dame four incoming pitchers who could play key roles on the 2008 pitching staff. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Miller averaged three strikeouts per walk (198/66) during his career at Montgomery Bell Academy, with his other career stats including a 2.89 ERA, 20 wins and 11 more innings pitched (194) than hits allowed (183), plus 9-inning averages of 9.2 strikeouts, 3.1 walks and 8.5 hits allowed. As a Mid-Tennessee all-region selection in 2007, Miller compiled a 2.07 season ERA and an eye-popping 4.5 K-to-walk ratio (54/12) while averaging 11.1 Ks, 2.5 walks and 8.0 hits allowed (39) per 9.0 innings (44 IP) during that senior season.
“Todd Miller is a guy who can come in and pitch for us next year. His fastball moves a lot and he has a breaking ball that can be unhittable,” says Notre Dame head coach Dave Schrage, who had the chance to observe Miller up-close at a 2006 Notre Dame baseball camp session. “That `plus pitch’ from his breaking ball should make Todd be able to come in and perform effectively as a freshman, whether it be in the bullpen or as part of the starting rotation. He is a strikeout pitcher who can get guys out – and that’s the type of pitchers we are looking for at Notre Dame.”
A four-year member of the starting rotation at Montgomery Bell, Miller served as the team’s top starter in his final three seasons and was the winning pitcher in the 2004 state semifinal game – with MBA going on to win the state title before finishing as the state regional runner-up in 2005 and ’06. He was named by the Baseball Factory/Team One as a 2007 preseason All-American and has pitched at several noteworthy baseball tournaments, including the 2006 Team One Showcase and the 2006 Blue-Gray Classic (held at Wake Forest) – in addition to participating in Vanderbilt’s 2005 Prospect Camp and the 2006 Ole Miss Camp. An Ingram Scholarship recipient for the 2006-2007 academic year, Miller compiled a 3.42 cumulative grade-point average in his four years at Montgomery Bell Academy.
“Ever since I received the call to join the Irish, I knew I was committing to something special,” says Miller. “Attending Notre Dame always has been a dream of mine and having the opportunity to play baseball for such an institution has truly exceeded all aspirations. After seeing the enthusiasm and love for the game shared by the entire coaching staff, I knew this program was heading in the right direction. Notre Dame baseball not only has a tradition but also a passion for winning, which I cannot wait to be a part of.”
|Notre Dame Baseball Newcomers for 2007-08|
|Ty Adams||LF/1B||6-7/230||R||Indianapolis, IN||Brebeuf Jesuit HS|
|David Casey||1B/LHP||6-4/225||L||Whitefish Bay, WI||Whitefish Bay HS|
|Evan Danieli||RHP||6-8/225||East Hanover, NJ||Seton Hall Prep|
|Mick Doyle||IF (SS)||6-1/185||R||LaGrange Park, IL||Benet Academy|
|Brian Dupra||RHP||6-3/195||Rochester, NY||Greece Athena HS|
|Matt Katich||C||6-1/185||R||New Castle, PA||Mohawk HS|
|Cameron McConnell||C||6-2/190||R||Bannockburn, IL||Deerfield HS|
|Todd Miller||RHP||6-3/195||Franklin, TN||Montgomery Bell Academy HS|
|Matt Scioscia||C/1B/DH||6-2/235||R||Westlake Village, CA||Encino Crespi HS|
|Ryan Sharpley||RHP/IF||6-4/185||R||Marshall, MI||Marshall HS|
|Greg Sherry||IF (SS)||5-11/180||R||Mendham, NJ||Delbarton HS|
|Golden Tate||CF||6-1/180||L||Hendersonville, TN||Pope John Paul II HS|
Notes: all of the above players signed in the fall of 2006, except for Miller (spring ’07 signee) and Tate, an ND football signee (WR/DB) who is a lefthanded-throwing outfielder … Scioscia is the son of L.A./Anaheim Angles manager Mike Scioscia.
See the following links for previous releases on the Notre Dame baseball signee group for the 2008 season:
* 2006 fall signee release – http://und.cstv.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/111406aag.html
* 2007 Major League draft preview – http://und.cstv.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/060707aaa.html
* 2007 Major League draft recap – http://und.cstv.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/062207aah.html
(Note that, as of July 5, none of the Notre Dame signees had signed with Major League clubs – due in large part to their strong commitment to become members of the Irish baseball program. Teams that selected high school and college players in the 2007 MLB draft maintain rights to those players until Aug. 15, 2007).
The addition of Miller and fellow Volunteer State native Tate (Hendersonville, Tenn.) gives Notre Dame an incoming class that features players from nine different states, with that coast-to-coast sampling including two each from Illinois and New Jersey, plus other players from California, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Miller could become the sixth Tennessee native to monogram with a 115-year-old Notre Dame baseball that has included baseball monogram winners from 44 different states (plus Canada and Panama). Fellow righthanded pitcher Drew Duff (Sevierville HS; 1999-2002) is the most recent Tennessee native to play for the Irish, with the other monogram winners including late 19th-century catcher Michael Campbell (Tilahoma; 1895-96) and mid-1980s second baseman Jack Moran (Memphis/Christian Brothers HS; 1982-85), plus a pair of righthanded pitchers from the first half of the 1900s who combined for a 38-13 career record (both were Memphis natives): Hugh Mageveney (1922-24; 20-5 record) and Walt Mahannah (1946-49; 18-8 record). Miller interestingly could become the fourth RHP among those prospective sampling of six ND baseball monogram winners from Tennessee (a last named starting with “M” also has become a trend among the program’s players from Tenn.).
Notre Dame’s 2008 team now is set to include players from 19 different states, those mentioned above plus: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Texas
Miller – who nearly signed with the Irish during the 2006 fall period – is one of a handful of spring signees with the Notre Dame baseball program during the past 12 years, joining the likes of righthanded pitchers Brad Lidge (signed in spring of 1995) and John Axford (2001), plus LHPs Tim Kalita (994) and Tom Thornton (2002), infielder Brant Ust (1994), catcher Jeff Wagner (1995), outfielders Allen Greene (1995) and Kris Billmaier (1999), infielder/catcher Javi Sanchez (2000) and DH Ken Meyer (1998), among others. Lidge went on to reach the Major Leagues and Ust earned All-America honors while eight of the 10 players mentioned above (all but Billmaier and Meyer) were selected in the Major League draft and went on to play on the professional level.
“Since signing a great class last fall, the addition of Todd Miller and Golden Tate has only strengthened a group that we are very excited to see join the Irish baseball program,” says Schrage. “We believe that all of these players will be strong fits for Notre Dame.
“We went after the best players available throughout the country and wanted to recruit great athletes, with a focus on pitching and defense while also solidifying the catching position and depth in the middle infield. We also signed two shortstops who are tremendous two-sport athletes and we signed two solid defensive catchers – with the added bonus of Golden Tate possibly helping us at the outfield position.”
“We addressed the need for adding more power hitters, as David Casey, Ty Adams and Matt Scioscia will provide some big-time power to the lineup. Casey also is a bonus, as a two-way guy who can help as a lefthander out of the bullpen.
“Greg Sherry and Mick Doyle will be great kids to have in the middle infield. They are tremendous players, both talent-wise and with their personal character. We feel that you always need to have two or three strong catchers in your program and the addition of Cameron McConnell, Matt Katich and Matt Scioscia help to make the catcher one of our biggest strengths going into the future.”
“Character is a big factor in our recruiting process. At Notre Dame, you want talented players to take you far in the NCAAs but you also want people who are going to lead your team and be team players. When we do home visits, we see how they act to their parents, how they respect their siblings and how they respect us in the homes. On the phone and in home visits, we break down our needs and guys who fit in terms of their academics. And then we find a kid we want because of his character. You have to go after the most talented kids who also are fits for your program.”