This first pitch of the season is on Friday. Just 5 short days until baseball season begins for this team. With that being said, our staff ranked all of the returning players and our number five returning player is Junior Pitcher John McMillon.
The Whammer, as some call him, is a physically intimidating mound presence as he is 6’3” and 230lbs. He has been a two-way player in the past as he has played some outfield and designated hitter as well as being a starter and relief pitcher in his sophomore season. McMillon only recorded 4 hits last season as he was a regular on the mound starting 12 games going 5-3.
McMillon was a decent starter for the Red Raiders but it got painfully obvious later in the season that his skill set was not very well suited for a starter’s role. McMillon has a better skill set to come out of the bullpen and give the team one or two solid innings as he has a fastball that few can hit.
McMillon is a strikeout champion, as he struck out 73 hitters in 63 inning of pitching in 2018. His accuracy is something that has been an issue as he walked 47 batters last season. This issue is something that seems to correct itself when McMillon comes out of the bullpen as he did 5 times last season.
His biggest relief performance came in the final game of the NCAA Super Regional Round against Duke when McMillon pitched two solid innings for the team, throwing 36 pitches and striking out two while allowing no runs.
McMillon has a cannon for an arm, with his fastball being able to stretch into the upper 90s. He also has the ability to throw batters off with a nice changeup. When he comes into the game, he’ll be a great asset to this team. I see him being the team’s star reliever this season, coming into to shut the door at the end of games. He could also occasionally appear as a designated hitter, maybe in situation when the team needs some instant offense, as McMillon has tons of power and can hit the ball out of the park at any moment.
No matter where Coach Tadlock puts him, McMillon has the potential to thrive for the Red Raiders this season. Where do you think this versatile player fit best? Let us know in the comment section below!