Youth propelling change
When Jack Z took over the reigns of the Seattle Mariners front office, he asked for patience. He wanted to build a talent laden farm system that would eventually translate to a young, exciting team that would finally put the Mariners in contention once again. Well, Mariner faithful, it seems that time is approaching.
After dominating the minor leagues, both of these young players came into the league with a lot of expectations. While it’s still early, they are both fulfilling their prophecy quite nicely.
Let’s break down their rise to the Majors and how they’re doing in their rookie seasons.
While we’ve seen the case of Brad Miller before, it does not happen often. After tearing up the lower tiers of the minor leagues, Miller quickly rose to AA Jackson. While there, he hit .320 in his first 40 games to end the 2012 season and then in 42 games to start the 2013 season, he hit .294.
Over those 82 games, Miller put up 92 hits, 48 runs, 14 doubles, 3 triples, 10 home runs, 37 RBI’s, stole 8 bases and tallied 42 walks and 56 strike outs.
He quickly got the call to Tacoma and proceeded to play just 26 games before getting the call to the Mariners. In those 26 games, he hit .356 with 37 hits, 26 runs, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 6 home runs, 28 RBI’s, 15 walks and 18 strike outs. In 26 games, he put up comprable stats to his previous 82.
Now in Seattle, Miller is continuing his successful ways. On a still subpar squad, Miller has been one of the bright spots. He’s sporting a .286 average in 13 games. He’s got 14 hits, 7 runs, 7 RBI’s, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 7 walks, 13 strike outs, and is 2 for 2 in stolen bases.
While he is showing flashes of power, he is also hitting for average and has the speed to turn singles into double and doubles into triples. His discipline at the plate could use some work with all the strike outs, but he is still young and maturing. He is still going deep into counts and making pitchers work for their outs.
Brad Miller is going to be a future star in the Majors. For now, we’ll let him star on our own stage here in Seattle.
Nick Franklin paved the way for Brad Miller to enter the way he did. Franklin absolutely dominated the minors, more than earning his ticket to the bigs. Even if he was rushed a little due to the mediocrity in Seattle, this kid came ready to play. He spent more time combined in Jackson and Tacoma than Miller, but it has also shown tremendously in his play.
In 78 games in Jackson, Franklin hit .324 with 93 hits, 38 runs, 34 RBI’s, 20 doubles, 6 triples, 6 home runs, 30 walks, 56 strike outs and 14 stolen bases.
In 103 games in Tacoma, Franklin hit just under .300 with 111 hits, 67 runs, 49 RBI’s, 24 doubles, 5 triples, 11 home runs, 54 walks, 88 strike outs and 10 stolen bases.
While Franklin is also having strike out issues, he is drawing a lot of walks and is also showing mostly good discipline at the plate. If he can just turn some of those strike outs into walks or singles, he would be exactly what Dustin Ackley was prophesized to be, but with the actual skill of a 2nd baseman.
Together, both Miller and Franklin are giving fans in Seattle hope for the future. While this season can still be won, the Mariners are building a team that all fans can enjoy for years to come.
With Brad Miller and Nick Franklin at the top of the order, good things will happen.
Let the youth movement commence. Kudos, Jack Z.