Looking for a shot to continue his baseball career, Deylen Miley didn’t hear his name called during the 2021 MLB Draft. Yet the search for an opportunity did’t last long, as Miley signed with the Houston Astros on July 20, 2021, a week after the conclusion of the MLB Draft.
Miley appeared in five games for the Florida Complex League Astros, sporting a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings of work. The righty struck out 24 batters to his five walks, entering his first offseason on a positive note. Strikeouts were always a trait that drew evaluators toward Miley on the amateur circuit.
But as he closed his second professional season last September, Miley’s numbers appeared less stellar. Across 24 outings, 15 being starts, he sported a 4.64 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 83.1 innings. Those numbers don’t tell the full story of Miley’s first year of affiliated pitching.
By June, his ERA sat at 4.15 through his nine outings. He struck out 43 batters to 26 walks, showing decreased command compared to the season prior. That’s where the Fayetteville Woodpeckers staff incorporated a slight adjustment to Miley’s windup.
Miley tweaked his motion by changing his arm slot and his posture towards home plate. By doing this, results weren’t showing right away. In fact, his ERA jumped to 4.36 in June and ballooned to 5.64 in July. Near the latter half of the season, it clicked; Miley posted a 2.93 ERA between August and September, striking out 47 batters in 30.2 innings.
“Without a doubt (it improved my command),” Miley said. “(It) was one of the couple key components of the staff thinking this change would benefit me in the long run.”
Miley honed in on that adjustment his offseason, continuing to improve his posture and his changed arm slot. He will report Sunday to spring training in West Palm Beach, Florida, looking to build off a successful second half to the 2022 season in a second year of affiliated play.