Miles Mikolas pitches for the Lake Elsinore Storm in 2011 (Photo courtesy MiLB.com)
Four years ago, Miles Mikolas (Saratoga 2008) was a starting pitcher for the summer collegiate Saratoga Phillies, the team now known as the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League’s Oneonta Outlaws. The San Diego Padres tapped Mikolas, a graduate of Nova Southeastern University, in the seventh round of the 2009 Major League Baseball entry draft. And 10 days ago, the Padres called upon Mikolas again as the former Saratoga starter earned a promotion to San Diego’s Petco Park from the Double-A San Antonio Missons of the Texas League.
The 23-year-old is in his third full professional season and fourth overall. He made his Major League Baseball debut on May 5 at home against the Miami Marlins. Over the last 10 days, Mikolas has pitched in five games for San Diego and has posted scoreless appearances against Miami (May 6) and Colorado (May 8). At the time of his promotion, he was 1-1 with four saves and a 2.92 earned run average for San Antonio.
The fast track to the Major Leagues for Mikolas began in 2010 when he was moved to the bullpen and converted into a relief pitcher after a rough season as a starter with the Northwest League’s Eugene Emeralds in 2009. The Jupiter, Fla., native picked apart the Class-A Midwest League as a member of the Fort Wayne TinCaps. He topped the loop with 60 appearances and churned out a 6-3 record, 13 saves and 78 strikeouts in 81.3 innings. Mikolas was a Midwest League all-star and his 2.20 earned run average ranked among the top 20 in the league.
He moved up to the Advanced-A California League in 2011 to pitch for the Lake Elsinore Storm. Mikolas dominated the hitter-friendly circuit. He went 3-0 with 12 saves and a 1.13 earned run average over 34 appearances. He struck out 42 batters and walked only nine in 39.2 innings. Miles earned a mid-season promotion to the Double-A San Antonio Missons of the Texas League. He pitched in 28 games and posted nine saves, a 1-0 record and 1.67 earned run average. The 6-foot-5 reliever finished the 2011 season with 21 saves, 69 strikeouts in 72.0 innings pitched and just 15 walks.
The San Diego reliever is one of six players from the Oneonta Outlaws organization that have reached Major League Baseball in the eight-year history of the franchise. Other Major League products include Casper Wells (2004), J.D Martinez (2008), Darin Mastroianni (2006), Mike Fiers (2007-2008) and Michael Schwimer (2005).