Remembering a Diamondback pitcher’s roots

Wade Miley is from Loranger, La., but some may forget just where the National League Rookie of the Year runner-up came from.
Most may say he came out of high school, or from an athletic powerhouse of the SEC, but Lions head baseball coach Jay Artigues remembers how he managed to snag a diamond in the rough.
“We were fortunate to get Wade,” said Artigues. “Wade came in during my first season.  He’s a local kid from Loranger and staying close to home and playing in front of his family was important to him.”
Miley’s first year on campus failed to show the true potential he held, as he pitched his way to a 6-7 record with a 5.92 ERA. However, in 2007, Miley found his stride.
“I’ve coached a lot of young men over the years, but Wade had something a little different than the rest,” Artigues said.  “During his time at Southeastern he really matured as not only a ballplayer, but a young man as well.  When Wade was drafted by the Diamondbacks after his junior season he was ready.  There was no doubt he was going to be a big leaguer.  I couldn’t be prouder of the way he has worked and taken advantage of the opportunity presented to him.”
Wade’s stats in his first full season in the majors were almost something out of a video game, and it earned him a trip to the All-Star game, not to mention second place in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. However, despite a stellar performance, the award went to Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who had long been hyped as the answer to the Nationals’ offensive woes. He won the award by posting a .270 batting average with 22 home runs and 18 stolen bases.
“I do feel Wade should have been Rookie of the Year,” said Artigues.  “His numbers speak for themselves – winning 16 games for a .500 ball club and becoming the ace of the staff is unbelievable for a rookie.  He did win the Sporting News Rookie of the Year, voted on by his peers, which is very impressive.  As far as how Wade feels about it, it really doesn’t affect him.  That’s what makes Wade great – The fact that he can truly care less about individual awards.  He’s concerned about one thing, and that’s winning.”
Miley’s tenure at Southeastern has left an impact on the program he once led. Artigues and his staff continue to remind their younger players of just how great they can really be.
“We absolutely use Wade as a recruiting tool as we do with all of our successful alumni,” said Artigues.  “What Wade was able to accomplish proves to the recruits that dreams can and do come true at Southeastern.”