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Mike Milchin

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Michael Wayne Milchin

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[edit] Biographical Information

[edit] Amateur career

Mike Milchin played for the US junior national team in 1986. He was a first baseman and pitcher for the USA in the 1988 Olympics. He hit only .154/~.290/.154 for team USA that year as the backup to Tino Martinez, but went 4-1 with two saves and a 1.93 ERA, second to Charles Nagy among those with 20+ IP and ahead of Jim Abbott, Ben McDonald and Andy Benes. The US won the Olympics that year. In the 1988 Baseball World Cup, he went 0 for 1 at the plate but allowed no earned runs in 5 2/3 IP, saving one game. Milchin was picked by the St. Louis Cardinals in the second round of the 1989 amateur draft, the only pitcher they took in the first 10 rounds.

[edit] In the St. Louis chain

Milchin went 1-2, 2.18 for the 1989 Hamilton Redbirds, walking 9 and whiffing 46 in 41 1/3 IP. He was promoted to the Springfield Cardinals, where he was 3-2 with a 2.14 ERA and over a strikeout per inning. In 1990, Mike split the year between the St. Petersburg Cardinals (6-1, 2.77) and the Arkansas Travelers (6-8, 4.31), making it to AA by the end of his second season.

In '91, the southpaw battled toe and shoulder injuries. He went 3-2, 3.06 for Arkansas (38 K, 8 BB in 35 1/3 IP) and 5-9, 5.07 with the Louisville Redbirds. Baseball America rated him the #8 prospect in the St. Louis system. His injury woes continued in 1992 as he broke a toe and had knee surgery. He went 2-6, 5.79 in his 12 outings for Louisville and his walk rate got much worse - 31 in 65 1/3 IP. Baseball America still placed him as the #6 prospect in the organization. Mike improved to 3-7, 3.95 in 1993 in his third year with the Redbirds. The Cards waived him and he was picked up by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

[edit] Albuquerque

Milchin suffered shoulder tendonitis in 1994 and had reconstructive left elbow surgery, missing all yar. Returning in 1995, he was 8-4 with a 4.32 for the Albuquerque Dukes. The highlight came on June 13 when he threw a seven-inning no-hitter in the second half of a doubleheader with the Vancouver Canadians.

[edit] Making it to the majors

The Minnesota Twins signed Mike for the 1996 season and assigned him to the Salt Lake Buzz. Now a reliever, he had two saves and no decisions with a 3.68 ERA in 19 outings. He was called up to the 1996 Twins, where he had a 8.31 ERA and 2-1 record in 26 games, allowing too many hits. He was waived again and picked up by the Orioles, for whom he went 1-0, 5.73 in 13 contests to conclude his career. Overall, he was 40-42 as a professional pitcher, 3-1 in the majors.

[edit] Post-MLB career

Milchin became an agent after retiring as a pitcher. He represented Justin Verlander, the #2 pick in the 2004 amateur draft, and was unable to negotiate a deal with Detroit. When the Verlander family bypassed Milchin and conducted their own discussions, they got a contract signed within eight days.

Sources: 1989-1997 and 2005 Baseball Almanacs, The Big Book of Jewish Baseball by Peter Horvitz and Joachim Horvitz, IBAF website, 1988 Team USA Media Guide

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