Armstrong Catcher Inks Professional Contract with Giants Organization

(July 22, 2014) — Armstrong State University catcher Clayton Miller will have an opportunity to further his baseball career as he has inked with the San Francisco Giants organization this week. The four-year standout will report to the Arizona League Giants this weekend.

Miller hit .339 with five home runs and 44 RBI for the Pirates as a senior in 2014. He went through the MLB First-Year Player Draft undrafted, but received a phone call from the Giants organization this week about signing as a free agent.

"When I did not get drafted, I thought was my sign that baseball was over," Miller said. "I had planned to move on to graduate school, but when I got that phone call asking if I wanted to continue playing, I realized it was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity that I couldn't turn it down."

The Augusta, Ga., native played four seasons for the Pirates, earning All-Peach Belt Conference, All-Region and All-Region Gold Glove honors during his career as well as Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors as a sophomore. He finished his career eighth all-time on the Armstrong hit list with 213 hits and also earned PBC All-Academic Team honors three times. Miller graduated in May with his bachelor's degree in rehabilitation sciences and earned the Dr. Donald Anderson Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award as well as the Armstrong President's Cup award in 2014.

"I'm excited that I get to say that I play professional baseball," Miller said. "It's a lot to take in. It was very spontaneous how it all developed but I am looking forward to playing this weekend."

Miller is the first Armstrong player to sign with a MLB organization since Zach Taylor was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2012 and is just the latest in a line of successful catchers to sign professionally since 2000 from the Pirates, including Kevin Bullard (2000), David Harriman (2002), Stacy Bennett (2003) and current West Michigan Whitecaps manager Andrew Graham (2003).