Based on what he's done at the professional level, Tim Millard doesn't seem like the type of player who likes to waste much time. He went from the 35th round of the First-Year Player Draft to Class A Burlington in six weeks and he's already giving opposing pitchers fits in the Midwest League.
The Angels infield prospect went 5-for-5 with his first Midwest League homer as the Bees pounded the Cougars, 16-4, on Sunday afternoon at Community Field. He scored three times, drove in a pair and raised his average to .400 in five games at the level.
"This league seems pretty solid," Millard said. "There's some good pitching and some really good defense I've already noticed so far. People out here really love baseball, it's been a fun three or four days."
Gameday box score
The five hits eclipsed the 23-year-old's previous best of three, which he accomplished three times with Rookie-level Orem. Millard moved up to Burlington on Wednesday after batting .299/.391/.500 with seven homers and 29 RBIs in 41 Pioneer League games.
"It was awesome," he recalled. "It was a big moment and I was really excited to get up here."
Millard had a slow start upon arriving at full-season ball, going 1-for-8 in his first three games, but he's registered seven hits in his last nine at-bats.
"I think the guys up here, they know what they're doing a little bit more, they're a little more experienced and confident," the 6-foot, 200-pounder said. "Pitching-wise, they trust their stuff and they're definitely able to locate a little better."
Millard's first extra-base hit for the Bees, a double in Saturday's 8-6 loss to Kane County, arrived in similar fashion to his first roundtripper. With those, as well as two of his four singles Sunday, the third baseman attacked the first pitch. Millard said he came into the contest looking to focus on hitting the right pitch when it comes, even if it's early in the count.
"I've been falling behind with two strikes a lot and trying to hit from behind in the count, which isn't always good," he said. "Just kind of something I noticed myself over the past couple of weeks. I was getting down in a lot of counts and wanted to be more aggressive."
Following Keinner Pina's double to start the second inning, Millard stroked the next offering from starter Mack Lemieux into center field. He came home on Julio Garcia's two-RBI knock to left that opened the scoring in Burlington's 10-run frame. Millard took a strike in his second at-bat of the inning before pulling another base hit to left and scoring on Kiki Menendez's three-run homer to right.
"It's definitely something that we appreciate because we've played a lot of close games lately," Millard said. "For the offense to kind of click today and just be rolling all nine innings was pretty special. It was good to just keep it rolling."
A Dallas Baptist University product, Millard went to the opposite field for his solo homer in the fourth. The Carrolton, Texas, native went first-pitch hunting again with the bases loaded in the sixth, pushing each runner up a base with an RBI blooper to second. He capped his day by pushing his fifth base hit to right with one out in the eighth.
Garcia and Menendez both drove in three runs for Burlington, which got two hits apiece from Kevin Williams and Spencer Griffin.