WKU Turfgrass Management Student Has His Sights Set on the Major League
Like many turfgrass students interested in the sports turf, Anderson Miller has his sights on major league baseball. However, unlike most students, he may reach the major league as a player before a sports turf manager. Anderson currently plays for the Hilltoppers’ baseball team. He is a junior and bats lead off while playing center field. In addition, he pitches out of the bull pen. Anderson is currently in the top five in most all offensive categories in Conference USA. He has been contacted by nearly all MLB teams. He is hopeful that he will get drafted this summer.
I had the opportunity to set down with Anderson recently in preparation for this WKU student spotlight article. Anderson is a Lexington, KY native and graduate of Lafayette High School and the son of Kelli and Lionel Miller, both Berea Alumni. He had the opportunity to work for Marcus Dean last summer as an intern on UK’s athletic fields. However, Anderson was invited to play in a prestigious summer league up east. He performed well in this league and caught the eyes of several scouts. Anderson has not looked at his stats nor been on social media since the start of the season. He has coped well with agents calling his phone at all hours of the night, scouts taping his every swing, and the pressure of leading his team in its first year in conference USA. The pressure doesn’t show, he is just another Agriculture student attending class and hanging out with his friends. In our meeting, I asked Anderson the following questions:
Why did you choose to attend WKU?
“I chose to attend WKU because it felt like home when I visited here; the people were all very friendly and welcoming. On the baseball aspect of things, WKU was a place with amazing facilities that had everything I could ever want to develop as a baseball player and a place where I would be given the opportunities to make a name for myself on the field.”
How did you learn about the turf program at WKU?
“My cousin, Braxston Miller, a former WKU football player now working for Advanced Turf Solutions, told me about the turf program back when I was in high school and he was a student here at WKU. The turf industry is something I’ve been around my whole life whether it was cutting yards with my dad or helping get our high school field ready for games once I got out of class for the day.”
What did you enjoy most about attending the KTC conference last fall?
“What I enjoyed most about the KTC Conference was getting to talk and listen to speakers who are in positions that one day I hope to be in down the road. From Tom Nielsen of the Louisville Bats, to Marcus Dean at UK and Dan Bergstrom from the Houston Astros, just to name a few. Getting to talk to them one-on-one was a special opportunity and something you don’t get to do every day.”
What are your plans after baseball?
“My plan after baseball is to hopefully use the connections I’ve made over my baseball career to stay in the baseball world and become a head groundskeeper at the major league level.”
What is the one thing that most surprised you or that you have found most interesting about WKU turf program or the turfgrass industry?
“The most surprising thing about the turfgrass industry is how small of a world it really is. Everyone seems to know everyone someway & somehow. Every conversation you have could end up being the pathway to your next job opportunity.”
Anderson Miller is a kid that is easy to root for on and off the baseball field. I feel very strongly that we will see him on the baseball field for many years to come whether it is swinging a bat or hose.