Mason Miller's 'wildest dreams' a reality with All-Star nod

July 10th, 2024

Mason Miller has come a long way.

"Five years ago, I'm not sure this would have been in my wildest dreams," the rookie closer for the A's said in an interview with MLB Network Radio on Wednesday.

Miller will live out the dream many young baseball players have had at one time or another, to be a Major League All-Star. He'll be among the brightest of baseball's stars when the 94th Midsummer Classic takes place on Tuesday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

The flamethrowing right-hander, who turns 26 next month, was struggling at Division III Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania back in 2018. He had a 7.16 ERA with a 12.7% strikeout rate and a walk rate north of 16%.

Then he discovered he had Type I Diabetes. It changed everything, including his baseball trajectory.

Upon being diagnosed and making the appropriate changes, Miller transformed into an overpowering collegiate pitcher. During his junior year at Waynesburg, he posted a 1.86 ERA and struck out 34.6% of the batters he faced.

In 2021, Miller transferred to Division I Gardner-Webb University, and following a strong performance there, the A's selected him in the third round of that year's Draft.

Now, three years later, he's an All-Star in his first full Major League season.

"You get these moments sometimes where you get to look back and see kind of how far you've come," Miller said. "It gives you a little perspective on the success you're having and all the hard work you've put in to get to this point."

Miller has worked hard, and it's paying off. He took MLB by storm over the first month of the season, when he pitched to a 1.35 ERA with eight saves for Oakland, striking out 28 of the 54 batters he faced (51.9%) with an arsenal that features a fastball that touches 102 mph.

Overall, Miller is putting together a tremendous campaign that has him in the American League Rookie of the Year conversation – he owns a 2.39 ERA with a 46.5% strikeout rate and 14 saves on the year.

It's been quite a journey for Miller, and he's still on his way. But every now and then, there comes a time to take a step back and see how far you've traveled.

Miller will get to do that next week in Arlington.

"Being in my first [All-Star Game] in my first full year," he said, "I'm super excited to just share that experience and be on the field with these great players."

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