Jonathan Mayo

Five questions with D-backs' Adam Miller

Jonathan Mayo talks to Arizona's No. 18 prospect

Five questions with D-backs' Adam Miller

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As part of's visit to all 30 Spring Training facilities this month, we will be sitting down with prospects and getting to know them a little better. At D-backs camp, it was No. 18 prospect Adam Miller.

Miller was a 20th-round pick in the 2013 Draft out of Brigham Young University. He was 23 when drafted after taking two years off for a Mormon mission. Miller made a successful double-jump to Double-A in 2015, and he is in big league camp this year, thanks in part to his heavy fastball that regularly touches 100 mph.

Bradley among big arms in D-backs camp You left the Arizona Fall League a little dinged up. How are you feeling now?

Miller: I'm still trying to get on track. My arm is still acting up a little bit. It's early on in the year, so we're trying to make sure everything is 100 percent before we start getting after it too hard. I worked super hard during the offseason. I was super excited to come in here, then about two weeks before I got to camp, I started feeling the stuff coming back again. It's really disappointing and frustrating, but I guess the body has a mind of its own. We're still trying to figure out what it is. I kind of have symptoms in multiple places. I've gotten a couple of MRIs. We haven't been able to pinpoint what's causing the weird symptoms, but hopefully we can figure out what's going on here pretty soon so I can get back out there on the field and get working.

MLB Pipeline Spring Training reports
Date Overview 5 questions
March 3 Indians Justus Sheffield
March 4 D-backs Adam Miller
March 7 Brewers J. Nottingham
March 7 Mariners Alex Jackson
March 8 Cubs Albert Almora
March 8 White Sox Eddy Alvarez
March 9 Rockies B. Rodgers
March 10 Padres Logan Allen
March 11 Giants Lucius Fox
March 14 Royals M. Gasparini
March 14 A's Richie Martin
March 15 Rangers Dillon Tate
March 15 Angels Jahmai Jones
March 16 Dodgers Alex Verdugo
March 17 Reds Rookie Davis
March 18 Twins Tyler Jay
March 18 Astros Daz Cameron
March 21 Red Sox Travis Lakins
March 21 Tigers Steven Moya
March 22 Rays Jacob Faria
March 22 Braves Touki Toussaint
March 23 Orioles Chance Sisco
March 23 Nationals Erick Fedde
March 24 Mets D. Lindsay
March 24 Yankees Donny Sands
March 25 Blue Jays Rowdy Tellez
March 25 Cardinals Nick Plummer
March 28 Marlins Tyler Kolek
March 29 Phillies Nick Williams
March 30 Pirates Jameson Taillon Last year, you double-jumped to Double-A. When was it when you got there that you thought, "Maybe I can do this"? A lot of people say if you can handle that leap, you can handle the final leap to the big leagues.

Miller: Going into last Spring Training, my wife and I had just moved up to Boise. I found an awesome strength trainer up there, and he got me in the best shape of my life, flexibility-wise, mobility-wise and baseball-specific stuff. I was expecting to throw my normal mid-90s stuff, and in Spring Training I was throwing really hard. They sent me to Double-A instead of High-A, and I wasn't expecting that. I had a lot to prove being a late-round pick. I've always had a chip on my shoulder, because a lot of people said since I took the two years off for the mission, "You'll never be able to play in the big leagues. You only get one shot." That was before I went to Mexico. Last year turned out pretty well. That first time you hit 100 mph, was it something you noticed? Or did someone have to point it out to you?

Miller: I actually remember the day. It was last Spring Training. I was walking in from my outing, I think I had just punched out the side and the Minor League strength coordinator Vaughn Robinson comes up to me and says, "You just hit 100." I said, "What???" He kind of made fun of me for kind of getting excited about it. From that point on, it was my goal to keep hitting it. You're going through the Minors and you're a bit older than the other guys because of your two-year mission. You have this whole other life experience, you're married. How has that changed how you look at baseball?

Miller: When I took the two years off, I was down in Mexico, so I learned a lot about the Latin American culture and became fluent in Spanish. The Spanish comes in handy with the Latin American guys. I think the main thing is when you go out of the country, your eyes are kind of opened to other ways of living. Coming back to baseball, getting married, it's a trick to try and balance things. It's tough at times. When you talk to your wife at night, you have to make sure how she's doing and not let it be that she's just checking in on you. In the clubhouse, all the guys are so young. There must be times where you must have been shaking your head.

Miller: Being in big league camp has been nice. I get to be around guys my own age. Especially in Rookie ball, I was 23 and I'm playing with 18- and 19-year-olds. There were times when it was kind of strange. But I guess you have to play better to move up the ranks and get to guys who are my own age.

Bonus question In Double-A, you got the chance to close some games. What was that experience like? And is that something you'd like to be able to keep doing?

Miller: It's awesome. Pitching the ninth, there's nothing like it. It's nice just knowing the routine you're going to have. If you have the lead, with three runs or less, in the ninth, you know you're going to pitch. It's nice knowing your role. Whatever position I pitch in the big leagues, I'll do that. That's just a dream of mine. It doesn't matter: Whatever I need to do to get there, I'll take it.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.