Miller is the man who found him. He was speaking by phone Tuesday from the airport in Dallas, on his way to Monterrey, Mexico. He is now an international cross-checker for the Tampa Bay Rays, but in 2010 he scouted for the Blue Jays, covering North Texas for the first time.
The year before, Miller had been responsible for a vast swath of the country: the Dakotas to Kentucky, and everything in between. But under Alex Anthopoulos, then in his first season as Toronto’s general manager, the Blue Jays had overhauled their scouting strategy. They hired more scouts and gave them much smaller territories to cover.
Miller could have taken something closer to Kansas, where he grew up. But he wanted to scout the best players and chose the baseball hotbed of North Texas. He began with a list of prospects to follow that did not include Syndergaard.
Miller’s road to discovery began on a soggy February morning, just outside Waco, where he had gone to see a high school pitcher named Trae Davis, who would play for Baylor. It was close to game time, but nobody was getting loose. A rainstorm the night before had pushed back the start time.
This was a problem, because Miller…