It is nice to see younger players dreaming about one day taking that trip to Cooperstown. The baseball season is well underway in Shasta County and the time to bring up the talented players is here.
I attended my first high school baseball game of the season back in March 6; it was Foothill HS (10-5 overall and 6-4 league record) versus West Valley HS (Cottonwood, CA). I wanted to scout for players that could play at a level that may carry them to play beyond high school. At this game, I saw a couple of players that could play at the next level. One of them is Andrew Milner 5’11”, 205 Lbs - Class of 2010. He played at second base that day and he showed me why he is considered one of the top players in the area, so I started my research on Andrew. Andrew is a starting pitcher in the Cougars rotation and there is much to talk about his pitching as well as his hitting and fielding.
Based on his sophomore’s stats, his performance on the field this year should not be surprising to anybody, he picked up right where he left it last year. As a Sophomore Andrew ended up batting .447 in 15 games with 47 AB, and 15 RBIs. His batting average was the second highest in the Eastern Athletic league. He ended up with and ERA of 2.23-best in the team. To add to his high quality performances during his sophomore year, I need to mention that he led the Cougars to the Northern Section CIF Championship. This current season, Andrew is batting .457 putting him in the top ten in the batting leaders board. He has played in 14 games with 46 at bat, 21 hits (2 HR). His SLG is above .700. On the fielding side (at second base and on the mound), he showed confident, good hands, good range, and good form fielding the ball. His throws were accurate and he did not complicate the delivery of the ball. He is very effective at executing defensive plays.
Andrew Milner “The Hitter”. I like the way he stays in the box, he put his weight on the back foot and looks with intensity toward the mound sending a subtle message to the pitcher that he is ready to battle and ready to win - that’s something you can’t teach, you either have it built in you or you don’t. I like his swing; he has the same approach all the time, which shows a natural motion built in his mechanics. Andrew seems to adjust well to the change of speeds and locations due to the different pitcher’s releases. Every time he made contact during the game, it was solid. He does have the power to hit it out the park.
Andrew Milner “The Pitcher”. A few days ago, Andrew faced the number one team in the league (Red Bluff HS (Spartans)- 15-4 overall and 8-2 league record) and he threw a four hits shutout. It did not take much to see how well he was controlling the tempo and that he was not afraid of going after the best hitters. His pitches were 85-88 mph consistently (i.e., Cruising Speed) and with good movement, which has allowed Andrew to accumulate a good number of strikeouts each game. His pitching motion clearly shows a natural and unforced process from the wind-up to the delivery. Andrew showed good arm velocity and good control. I particular like his controlled intensity that shows his desire to win without hurting his concentration. This year he had 6 outings with an impressive 0.87 ERA, 2-2 record and with 40 K’s. I think Andrew will get better and stronger as time goes by, he has the arm, control, smarts and the attitude of a winner. He has what it takes to play at the next level.
Outside the field, Andrew follows a workout program that includes weight lifting and baseball conditioning. He also jogs 3-4 miles at a minimum of 3 times a week. He works on his baseball mechanics, and baseball in general in a year round basis. This includes playing in a traveling team and the opportunity to work with former major leaguers. In academic side, Andrew is carrying this year a 3.5 GPA. Some of the schools he would like to attend are: UC Davis, Fresno State, St Mary’s Oregon, Oregon State. Andrew is one of the players that I will be watching the rest of the way.