mariners

Brad Miller: The future at short stop

Large Strides in Small Samples

This offseason, Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon made it clear that both Brad Miller and Nick Franklin would be given an open opportunity to compete for the starting short stop position.

The victor stays, the other likely sent back to AAA.

So far it has been an average-to-below average outing from Franklin, while there’s evidence of stardom from Miller. Granted, you take Spring Training results with a grain of salt, but Sergio has been lighting it up.

In 38 at-bats this spring, Miller has notched 17 hits — one double, four triples and four home runs — for an average of .447 and a slugging percentage of 1.000.

Brad Miller is the future at SS for the Mariners. (Photo: AP)

Brad Miller is the future at SS for the Mariners. (Photo: AP)

To compare, last season in Spring Training Miller posted a .255 average on 47 at-bats with one home run and a slugging percentage of .489. He hit .143 the Spring before that.

So these numbers are something to get excited about. But should they be expected?

Last season Miller was brought up in late June to replace the “offensively anemic” Brendan Ryan. In 76 games, Miller hit .265 with eight home runs and a slugging percentage of .418 from the lead-off spot.

These numbers were blended into the mix of yet another stagnant year at the plate for the ball club, but really deserved more praise than actually received.

The .265 average is a higher number than solidified-third-baseman Kyle Seager has ever posted in his short career. The slugging percentage beats out Seager’s rookie campaign (.379) and mirrors his most recent year (.426).

Don’t get me wrong — I love Seags. But the fact that he’s been one of our most consistent hitters over recent years and Miller has already topped his numbers shows a great amount of promise.

If you love statistics, there is a great article breaking down Brad Miller‘s production thus far and his future potential – in which they make a reasonable comparison to recent-breakout Jason Kipnis. You can find that here.

The most exciting part of his game is not simply the hitting alone, but the pop in his bat amidst the consistency.

The jury is still out on his defensive ability. However, if he can provide a high average along with some power at the short stop and lead-off position in this Mariner lineup, the door is wide open for Robbie Cano and co.

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About Jordin Ereth

Reigning from the Palouse, an avid Cougar and Seahawks fan who still sheds a tear at the name drop of our lost Sonics. A recent graduate from Washington State University with a degree in Broadcasting Productions and Sports Media. Go Cougs! Connect w/ Jordin today!
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