Reid Detmers & Bobby Miller Praise Pitching Coach Roger Williams

Matthew McGavic

Before even settling foot on campus, both LHP Reid Detmers and RHP Bobby Miller had pro potential.

Both opted to come to Louisville as part of the 2017 recruiting class after having the option to begin an early professional career. Detmers, the No. 190 overall prospect according to Perfect Game, was drafted in the 32nd round by the Philadelphia Phillies. Miller, who was just 15 spots behind Detmers in Perfect Game's 2017 prospect rankings, was selected in the 38th round by the Baltimore Orioles.

Three years later, and the junior duo has skyrocketed up the draft boards.

According to the latest mock draft by MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo, Detmers is projected to be a single-digit pick, going No. 9 overall to the Colorado Rockies. As for Miller? He's projected to round out the first round and go No. 29 overall to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Of course, both have natural talent & ability required to put themselves in such a position. But another reason they were elevated to the status they are now have been the efforts from pitching coach Roger Williams.

"He's always had so much success in this program," Miller said about Williams to reporters in a teleconference Friday. "Our pitching staff is always very good every year because of him."

"It's one of the programs that produces draft picks," Detmers also said. "That's why we all came here. That's what Coach (Dan McDonnell) and Coach Williams promised us when we got here. That we're going to develop, and we're going to be a draft pick."

Detmers isn't wrong. During Dan McDonnell’s 14-year tenure as the Louisville head coach, the Cardinals have had 84 players selected in the MLB Draft, with 72 signing professional contracts. Roger Williams has been with him every step of the way.

On top of being an upper-tier coach, Williams also helped install the work ethic in which Detmers and Miller both possess.

"He teaches us how to work hard on our own, and he teaches us a lot of new stuff," Miller said. "He steps it up every single year, he gets better every single year."

"We put in a lot of work off the field, just in the weight room getting stronger. Then we go on the field and we get better during practice," Detmers said. "All that stuff together adds up. Coach Williams has done a great job with us."

Not only did Williams help get Detmers & Miller into the position, but the same could also be said for senior right-hander Luke Smith.  Joining the program for his junior year in 2019 as a JUCO transfer, Smith got noticeably better as his tenure as a Cardinal processed, eventually working his way into the starting rotation towards the end of the season and into 2020.

As it stands now, Smith could potentially be drafted towards the end of the last round of the 2020 draft. For context, he was unranked by Perfect Game coming out of high school.

If Williams' impact on Louisville's 2020 starting rotation isn't evident enough, this quote from Miller sums it up succinctly:

"Without him, I'd be nowhere near where I'm at right now."

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