Stop-Gap at Shortstop
After splitting the series with the Texas Rangers, the Seattle Mariners stand at 6-8 and are currently third in the AL West – ahead of the Angels and Astros, and behind the A’s and Rangers.
The Mariner fan base have been patiently waiting for this young team to become relative in the pennant race. While that time may not be here quite yet, there is excitement in the system.
Unfortunately, there are rumors circulating that Morales is on the trading block – his contract is up at season’s end and he refuses to negotiate mid-season.
But nevertheless, the Mariners have some solid pieces on the team and also in their farm system.
Miller was drafted by the Mariners in the second round of the 2011 draft out of Clemson, and has been impressing the organization since.
Last season between Single-A High Desert and Double-A Jackson, Miller hit .334 (186-for-557) with 40 doubles, 7 triples, 15 homers and 68 RBI’s. He added a .410 on-base percentage and a .510 slugging percentage with 23 stolen bases.
Miller has quietly become a favorite for call-up consideration, and he made quite the impression on Eric Wedge this spring. Wedge praised the young shortstop before their final spring contest, saying “We look at him as a true short stop.”
As well as, “He’s handled both right-handers and left-handers.”
Short and to the point. Wedge likes him, and he could be the shortstop the Mariners have desperately searched for since the departure of A-Rod.
He has above average speed, and enough power to rack up 15-20 homers. But will likely be a double machine considering his line-drive-producing swing.
His most unique trait is his plate discipline. He shows extreme patience for a young hitter, and took his base 74 times in his break out season this past year.
His stats from last season will be difficult to top, but so far he has come out of the gates strong – batting .389 with 2 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homers and 4 RBI’s in 10 games. As well as 5 walks.
Kyle Seager has proven to be a solid option at third. Now if Dustin Ackley and Jesus Montero could live up to a smidgen of their potential – and Zunino and Miller continue their success at the next level – this Mariner lineup could be a solid group come next season.
But as for this season, let’s hope Morse and Kendrys can help our pitching out enough to make a playoff hunt for the ol’ KING.