Posted at 9:50 AM on June 22, 2005
by David Zingler
Since the Twins are so depressing these days, I thought it might be fun to see what my old friend Corky Miller is up to. You can say what you want about him, but heís always good for a chuckle.
Since the Twins bid adieu to the Corkster on May 4, heís been toiling at Triple A Rochester splitting the catching duties with Rob Bowen and Chris Heintz. Miller has shown one thing thus far -- that if you groove a mid 80s fastball over the plate, he can hit it a mile. Despite having just 70 at bats, the Cork man is second on the team with 6 homeruns. Overall however, he has just 15 hits. His .214 average is second worst to Terry Tiffeeís .212.
Those numbers donít come close to telling the whole story though. Thanks to his keen batting eye, Miller has drawn 10 walks and boasts a solid .345 OBP. Combine that with his .500 slugging percentage and Corkyís OPS stands at .845. What a masher!
Thanks for noticing that Corky's bat is heating up. That aside, his bat isn't what Corky Miller is about. I have watched this man play baseball since 1999 when he first came to AA Chattanooga with the Reds. Corky's bat can get hot, but he is one of the best defensive catchers you will see. (Voted Best Defensive Catcher in both SL and IL by the managers) He has a quick release, excellent footwork, calls a great game, understands the rythm of a game, and can keep the 58 ft. slider from going to the backstop with a runner on third. How many major league catchers can you say that about these days? Very Damn Few!!
Also, his bat can get very hot, in the beginning of the 2002 season he was tearing the NL up hitting over .350, leading all rookies in doubles and had one 8 game hitting streak with a BA of .387. Then Bob Boone in his infinite wisdom sat Corky for about 8 games while Jason Larue set a major league strike out record. When Corky plays regularly he has good power, great eye and will generally lead the team, and in the past all of baseball, with HBPs.
But if you want to know the real story about Corky Miller, talk to the guys that pitch to him. Ask them if its more important to have a guy behind the plate who they can throw all their pitches to with a runner on 3rd, or a catcher that can hit .280. Also, go back through the minors where he has played and ask any owner where he played who was the best player in the clubhouse and in the community and your answer will be Corky Miller. If Corky never gets another hit in the big leagues he will have made a bigger impact on a lot of people's lives than some of these over-paid prima donnas will ever dream of. But don't count on Corky never getting another big league hit...there'll be more to come.
You can talk about Corky Miller all you want! I think he is a lot of fun to watch and have been to a lot of Red Wings games this year just to watch him behind the plate. He is my favorite ball player these days. He gives his pitchers and the whole team a lot of support and is always willing to sign an autograph with a smile for the younger fans. I really am hoping the Twins sign him soon to a minor league contract with the Red Wings for 2006!