Paul Frank Joseph Mildren
- Bats Right, Throws Left
- Height 6' 1", Weight 195 lb.
Pitcher Paul Mildren played eight seasons in the minors (through 2009). He has played for Australia in several major events.
Mildren was a member of the Australian youth and junior national teams. He was signed by the Florida Marlins in 2001. In 2002, he debuted in Australia's Claxton Shield, walking three batters and throwing a wild pitch without retiring anyone for South Australia. He made his US debut that summer, going 3-4 with a 1.97 ERA for the GCL Marlins and 0-3, 5.54 for the Jamestown Jammers. He was 7th in the Gulf Coast League in ERA.
At age 18, the southpaw allowed two runs (one earned) in five innings in the Claxton Shield. Back in the US, he was 4-10 with a 4.43 ERA for the Greensboro Bats, walking 54 in 101 2/3 innings as control remained an issue. In the 2004 Claxton Shield, the teenager was 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA, allowing 7 hits in 3 innings.
Mildren returned to Greensboro for 2004 and slumped to 5-7, 5.22. His control improved (40 BB in 101 2/3 IP) but his hits allowed total rose from 94 to 115 and his homers surrendered from 6 to 14. In the 2005 Claxton Shield, Mildren threw 7 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and fanning seven in two fine outings.
He followed with a fine 2005 season with the Jupiter Hammerheads, when he was 10-3 with a 3.09 ERA in 29 outings. He was 6th in the Florida State League in ERA, between Jordan Tata and Tyler Clippard. Still just 21 years old, he was left off the FSL post-season All-Star team. Joining the Australian national team for the first time, he was 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in the 2005 Baseball World Cup. He struck out a team-high 16 in 12 1/3 innings while allowing 7 hits and only two walks.
In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Mildren allowed three runs in three innings of work for Australia. With a 3-0 deficit in the 2nd inning of the opener against Italy, he relieved John Stephens. Mildren retired Frank Catalanotto on a grounder to end that inning. In the third, he allowed a double to Mike Piazza before Vince Sinisi flew out. Val Pascucci tripled in Piazza. Mildren then struck out Peter Zoccolillo on a full count and Mark Saccomanno. In the 4th, he gave up singles to Dustin Delucchi and Tony Giarratano. Frank Menechino flew out and Adam Bright relieved Mildren; Delucchi later scored. In the third inning of the game against the Dominican national team, Mildren replaced Josh Hill with a 4-1 deficit and got Willy Taveras to end the frame. In the 4th, he got Alfonso Soriano. Albert Pujols and Luis Polonia singled and Miguel Tejada hit a sacrifice fly before Mildren got Pedro Feliz to fly out to end the inning. Wayne Lundgren replaced Mildren at the start of the next inning.
Mildren had a 6.00 ERA in the 2006 Claxton Shield, going 0-1. In the 2006 minor league season, he was 10-10 with a 4.14 ERA for the Carolina Mudcats. His 167 1/3 innings led Marlins farmhands while his 150 strikeouts were second to José García. He was 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in the 2007 Shield, walking seven in 4 1/3 innings.
Mildren began 2007 with the Albuquerque Isotopes, going 5-7 with a 5.86 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in his AAA debut. After five and a half seasons in the Marlins organization, he was claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Royals in the summer of 2007. Assigned to the Omaha Royals, his struggles continued as he allowed 20 hits, 14 runs and 8 walks in 13 innings and was 1-1.
He allowed one run in 2 1/3 innings in the 2008 Claxton Shield.
Mildren went 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 10 innings in the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament as Australia failed to advance to the Summer Games. Paul beat the German national team and lost to host Taiwan. He tied Chien-Ming Chiang and André Hughes for third in the event in strikeouts, easily trailing Francisco Campos (22) and Min-han Son (16).
Mildren split 2008 between the Wilmington Blue Rocks (0-7, 7.24), Northwest Arkansas Naturals (2-6, Sv, 6.33) and Omaha (2.70 in 4 games) in a big decline from '07. A free agent, he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates for 2009. He made Australia's roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Mildren allowed 4 hits, 2 walks and 3 runs in 2 1/3 IP for Australia, but had a better ERA than five other hurlers on the club in high-scoring Foro Sol Stadium.
Mildren was 3-6 with a 5.77 ERA for the 2009 Lynchburg Hillcats, walking only 14 in 73 1/3 innings but allowing a .328 average and being let go by Pittsburgh.
- Australian Baseball Federation
- IBAF site
- 2003-2008 Baseball Almanacs
- 2008 Royals Media Guide
- Flintoff & Dunn Australian Baseball Almanac
- World Baseball Classic