Brody Miller ‘tearing it up’ at MSUB

When Major League Baseball holds its first-year player draft in June, Butte sports fans might have more reason to watch than they probably thought.

There’s a very good chance that Montana State Billings junior Brody Miller will have his named call. It’s quite possible his name could be called fairly high, too.

Miller, the all-time home run leader for the American Legion Missoula Mavericks, also has roots that run deep in the Mining City.

His parents, Bill and Kriss (Piazzola) Miller, are both Butte natives. He has three grandparents and lots of relatives who still live in the area.

In the not-so-distant future, those relatives could be cheering on Miller in professional baseball.

Miller, who is leading the Great Northwest Athletic Conference with a .416 batting average, is eligible to be drafted this year and — if he doesn’t sign with a pro club — next year.

“He’s got two shots at it,” Bill Miller said. “This is his time to shine.”

In 26 games, Miller has 13 doubles, five home runs, 29 RBIs and 24 walks. His on-base percentage is .506.

“He’s really tearing it up this year,” Bill Miller said. “He’s led the conference all year.”

Brody Miller has started every game but one in his three years at MSUB. This year he moved to short stop from second base because the team lost last year’s shortstop to graduation.

“Brody went to the coach said ‘I can do this,’ and the coach gave him a shot,” Bill Miller said of his son, who is listed on the Yellowjackets’ roster as 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds.

Miller is one of two college athletes in his family. His sister, Lexi, plays second base for the Spokane Falls Community College softball team.

“She’s leading her team in doubles,” her dad says.

Brody and Lexi Miller are the first cousins of Butte Central standout pitcher Teresa Piazzola, a sophomore whose sister Angela was a four-year starter at shortstop for the Maroons.

Their grandparents, Dan and Marlene Piazzola, live in Brown’s Gulch. On the other side of the family, the Miller’s grandmother, Lauretta Miller, lives in Butte. Their grandfather, Bill Miller, passed away in 1996.

Brody Miller was a part of the 2010 Missoula Maverick’s Class AA American state championship team along with Riley King, who was drafted by and plays in the Kansas City Royals organization.

Bill Miller and King’s father, Bob, coached the young Missoula players through Little League. Their All-Star teams went to California for regional tournaments in 2004 and 2006.

The younger Miller picked MSUB over several other schools, including Spokane Falls. It has prove to be a good move for both sides.

Recently, he was featured in The Billings Gazette by writer Joe Kusek, detailing Miller’s four-hit game in an 8-7 win of a doubleheader against Saint Martin’s in Billings. Miller hit three doubles and scored the game-winning run.

Bill Miller, who works in the gaming industry and is living in Chicago for about a year, flew into town just in time to see that game, which was Miller’s GNAC-leading third four-hit game of the season.

Miller hit .288 as a freshman before batting .350 last season. No MSUB player has hit better than .400 in a season since the school reintroduced baseball in 2006.

“Brody’s a flat-out hitter,” said Montana State Billings coach Rob Bishop told the Gazette. “He’s a kid, if he was just rolling out of bed and you tried to put a fast ball by him, he’d take a whack at it. The kid just loves to hit.”

The Yellowjackets, who are 11-25 overall and 8-12 in league play, have five games left — all at home — before they play in the GNAC tournament beginning May 8.

The MLB draft is June 5-7.

Bryon Baker update

Butte Bryon Baker is also a member of the MSUB baseball team.

The freshman pitcher has appeared in 12 games, starting three for the Yellowjackets. He is carrying a 5.67 ERA.

He has also struck out 24 batters in 27 innings of work. He walked 13 and surrendered 31 hits.

Baker, a Butte High graduate and former Butte Miner, has signed to play for the Kitsap BlueJackets of the West Coast League this summer. 1 comment



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1 Comment

  • Brad Mills
    April 24, 2014, 11:21 pm

    Best of luck Brody been in your position a long time ago and was very disappointed. If you are serious about continuing to play look into the Indy leagues. Big sacrifice!

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