Brad Miller

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Bradley Austin Miller

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Biographical Information[edit]

Shortstop Brad Miller made his major league debut for the Seattle Mariners at the end of June, 2013. He had just been named a member of the United States team in the 2013 Futures Game before the call-up, and had to bow out of the game. He hit his first two major league homers in the Mariners' first game after the All-Star break, on July 19th. He blasted a ball to the second deck in the 6th inning off Bud Norris and added another against Josh Fields in the 8th, giving him 2 runs and 5 RBIs as the M's defeated the Houston Astros, 10-7. He had another two-homer game on August 13th, which was also his first-ever game in his home state of Florida, having grown up in the state and having attended many Tampa Bay Devil Rays games as a kid. Playing in front of a group of 50 friends and family members, he led off that game with a homer off Chris Archer of the now Rays, then added a second blast off Archer in the 5th inning as the Mariners won, 5-4. What made the game even more memorable was that the Rays' leadoff hitter, Ben Zobrist also started the top of the 1st with a homer and added one in the 5th. It was only the second time in history that both teams' leadoff hitters had started the game with a homer and added one later on in the contest. Tony Phillips of the Detroit Tigers and Chuck Knoblauch of the Minnesota Twins had done the same thing on June 5, 1994. Miller ended the year with a batting line of .265/.318/.418 in 76 games with 8 homers and 36 RBI.

Heading into the 2014 season, Miller was in competition with his good friend Nick Franklin, who had been the team's second baseman in 2013, for the starting SS job. The Mariners had signed 2B Robinson Cano to a huge free agent contract during the off-season, and only one of the two young middle infielders would therefore be a starter. Brad won the competition and after going 1 for 5 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Opening Day on March 31st, had the third two-homer game of his career the next day, connecting off C.J. Wilson in the 5th and Michael Kohn in the 9th in an 8-3 win. He played 123 games that season, including 107 at shortstop, but hit only .221 with 10 homers and 36 RBIs. He was again the Mariners' most used shortstop in 2015, playing 89 games at the position, but by the end of the season he had been supplanted by young Ketel Marte, and ended up filling in in the outfield and elsewhere. He did play a career-high 144 games, hitting .258 with 22 doubles, 11 homers and 46 RBIs, but Marte's emergence made him redundant. On November 5th, he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays along with 1B Logan Morrison and P Danny Farquhar in return for Ps Nate Karns and C.J. Riefenhauser and OF Boog Powell.

Miller was given a chance to start at shortstop with the Rays in 2016 and while he did well with the bat, providing more power than had been expected, his defence was shaky as he was committing too many errors and his other fielding numbers were generally poor. In August, he was moved to first base, in order to take more advantage of his bat, while newly-acquired Matt Duffy took over for him at shortstop. He ended up with 30 homers and 29 doubles while driving in 81 runs in 152 games. However, this breakthrough season with the bat proved to be a one-year blip. In 2017, he hit just .201 in 110 games, with 9 homers and 40 RBIs while being used mainly at second base. By 2018, he was no longer a starter, seeing time at first base and a few games each at second and DH. He bounced back to some extent with the bat, with a .256 average in 41 games with 5 homers and 21 RBIs. However, on June 7th, he was designated for assignment in order to clear a roster spot for Jake Bauers. On June 10th, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in return for Ji-man Choi. He played another 27 games for Milwaukee, hitting .230, to finish at .248 in 75 games, with 13 doubles, 7 homers, 29 RBIs and an OPS+ of 97.

Miller was on the move again in 2019, starting the year with the Cleveland Indians after going to spring training with the Los Angeles Dodgers, being released just as rosters were being finalized and being picked up by the Indians. Before the end of April, he had been released again and signed by the New York Yankees, but only played for them in the minors before going to a fourth team on June 13th, when the Philadelphia Phillies purchased his contract from New York. In between all these moves, he played 13 games at the major league level with Cleveland, hitting .250, and another 66 with the Phillies, in which he batted .263 with 12 homers and 21 RBIs. His OPS+ was a solid 137 for the Phils, and played 3B and LF for them. He became a free agent again after the season and changed teams again, signing with the St. Louis Cardinals for the 2020 season. That was the season that was cut short by the Coronavirus pandemic, limiting him to 48 games as St. Louis' main DH and a sometimes third baseman. He batted .232 with 7 homers and 25 RBIs, but thanks to 25 walks and the generally poor hitting numbers in the majors that year, he was actually a well above average hitter, with an OPS+ of 122. He appeared in the postseason for the first time of his career, going 0 for 1 in the Cardinals' loss to the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card Series.

In 2021, he returned to Philadelphia, and with the DH no longer in effect in the National League except in interleague games, he was used as a super utility player, getting starts in right and left field, and at first second and third base. He continued to hit well and on July 8th, he had the first three-homer game of his career, victimizing the Chicago Cubs by driving in 5 runs in an 8-0 win. Two of the homers came against Adbert Alzolay and the last one off rookie Cory Abbott, and he was the first Phillies player with a three-homer game since Jayson Werth in 2008.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2016)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2016)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Ryan Herrera: "3 Wrigley HRs! Miller rewards skipper's savvy: Lefty-heavy lineup pays off big; 1B sees parents 'going crazy' in stands", mlb.com, July 9, 2021. [1]

Related Sites[edit]