Mariners Getting Ready For Miller Time

SEATTLE—Few players in the minor leagues got off to a quicker start than Mariners shortstop Brad Miller, who hit four home runs and drove in 14 runs in his first 11 games for high Class A High Desert and won California League player of the week honors early in the season.

It was a bit of a surprise that the Mariners decided to start Miller in the California League, after selecting him in second round of the draft last June out of Clemson. He had played 14 minor leagues games before he got the plane ticket from the Arizona to the Cal League.

He did, however, announce his presence with authority in those 14 games with low Class A Clinton last summer, scorching Midwest League pitching for a .415/.458/.528 line in 53 at-bats.

"He's a smart kid who has a lot of talent and on top of that is a hard worker," farm director Chris Gwynn said. "He's got very good makeup and he's going to do whatever it is he has to do to be better. He's still learning every day, but he's opening some eyes."

Miller, 22, had a chance to land elsewhere in the American League West.
The Rangers took him out of high school in Orlando in the 39th round of the 2008 draft, but Miller opted to play college ball at Clemson. In three years with the Tigers, Miller made himself into a prototypical major college shortstop.

As a junior, he was the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year after hitting .395 with a .489 on-base percentage, and the Mariners felt lucky to get him in the second round.

What the Mariners hope to find out this year is if Miller is going to stay at short or perhaps move elsewhere in the infield. He made nine errors in his first 11 games, but Gwynn isn't overly concerned about the numbers.

"Long term, I don't know that we're ready to answer the question," Gwynn said. "I do know that I've seen him make plays he probably didn't think he could make. That's a natural part of a young player's maturation process."


• Outfielder Carlos Peguero, playing for Triple-A Tacoma, tore the meniscus in his left knee. He had surgery and was likely to be out at least six weeks.

• The Mariners added former big league reliever Brian Sweeney to the roster at Tacoma. He had been at extended spring training after pitching in the Mets organization at Triple-A Buffalo last year.