Featured Photo Credit: Carlos Puma
# 20 Dean Miller RF
6′ 2″ 235 lbs
Throws: Right Bats: Right** (can switch hit)
Dean Miller is humble, talented and powerful. He has an ever growing confidence about him that for the past two seasons at UC Riverside, appeared to increase further and further with each game. Miller could be a linebacker in the NFL with his thick frame and broad shoulders. His development with the Highlanders should make organizations think twice about passing on the right-handed hitting right-fielder. One scout told me recently that he believes Miller “will continue to get better with the higher competition and that he really puts in the extra work to improve.” His work ethic, coupled with his attitude and willingness to pursue his dreams with such passion makes him an appealing candidate to draft.
For the past two seasons, he has roamed the spacious and usually sun-drenched right field at UC Riverside’s Plex. Dean has been a team leader. He has been very productive as a Highlander. The Big West Conference is a powerhouse, the competition fierce, and pitching is deep, Dean Miller was up to the challenge. .365/.401/.650
Miller’s baseball prowess is well documented, with good reason, he is a stud. There is an interesting back story that Both Dean’s father and Dean, speak about. Imagine young Deano Miller, swinging his baseball bat in the yard, dreaming of his future. As the boy envisioned success in his mind, he took it a step further. As Dean describes, “When I was 9 years old I told my dad that I was going to play for RCC, UCR and then play for the Dodgers. So far, it’s a prophecy fulfilled and it’s been a blessing for sure.” Pachappa Little League, Victoria Pony League, Ramona High School, Riverside Community College, and UC Riverside. All called out on that afternoon by master Miller. He continued, “I don’t know why I said it at that moment, but I knew I was proud of where I grew up and I was raised.” When I spoke to his Father, Dean Miller Sr. about this, he spoke of this story with such enthusiasm and delight.
Most of us cannot predict what we will accomplish next week, let alone years and a decade into the future. Call it a prophecy, call it stubborn will, but whatever the name, it is impressive. He may not be drafted by the Dodgers, he is a wanted man, but with this sort of determination, it is easy to root for the Dean Miller-Dodger connection to happen.
His coach, Troy Percival compares him with a former Angels’ teammate, RF Tim Salmon.
We love you, guys! Thank you so much for all your hard work during your time here at UCR. 🤞🐻
— UC RiversideBaseball (@UCR_Baseball) May 26, 2019
It may be difficult for the final phase of Dean’s prophecy to be fulfilled. Many scouts are excited about Miller and he figures to be drafted between 5 to 10 round range. The Atlanta Braves, who drafted Miller in the 37th round of 2017, will surely be in the mix to draft the slugger from Riverside. The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies scouts have also shown Dean Miller a fair amount of attention as well. The important point is that Dean has put himself in position for his dream to become a Dodger can be realized.
If Dean Miller was at another “big name” type of program, he may be up for Big West Player of the Year. His numbers are even more impressive when you consider, Dean, self admittedly, struggled the first two weeks of the 2019 season. After his slow start, the Highlanders right fielder caught fire and compiled 74 hits in 52 games played. He slugged .650 and clobbered 14 home runs while collecting 132 total bases on the season. A little known fact about Miller, he can switch-hit as well. Although he did not do so for UCR.
— UC RiversideBaseball (@UCR_Baseball) April 9, 2019
“Deano” also had quite the fantastic season in the field. In his 130 chances, Miller only committed just one error all season long for the Highlanders. He also had 6 outfield assists, including an incredible throw to home plate to cut down a would-be game-tying run and help the team preserve the victory. His leadership on the field, the dugout, at the plate, Dean Miller
The draft is tomorrow, and we will all soon learn where Dean Miller will be headed next. Thus far, 9 year old Dean Miller has set forth of vision for himself, and he has retained tunnel vision during this journey. After watching Deano play at the Plex in Riverside the last two seasons, as the team’s Public Address Announcer, this author could not be more excited for the draft and to watch Dean Miller develop, no matter the organization that selects him. This young man has a bright future ahead!