Live-Armed Erik Miller Will Compete For Spot In Giants’ Bullpen


Lefthander Erik Miller stymied same-side hitters with Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Sacramento last year, allowing them to hit .130 in his first full season as a pure reliever.

Righthanded hitters found Miller equally difficult to hit. They managed just .150.

“He can make anyone look bad, whether it’s good Triple-A hitters (or) good major league hitters,” Giants farm director Kyle Haines said. “He has the ability to dominate anybody.”

The Giants acquired Miller, a Stanford product, from the Phillies in January 2023 for righthander Yunior Marte. Listed at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, Miller is “just a big, physical presence,” Haines said.

The 26-year-old Miller features a fastball that sits in the mid 90s and can approach triple digits and also throws a solid slider and changeup.

“He’s got some of the best lefthanded stuff in the game,” Haines said of the Phillies’ 2019 fourth-round pick.

Miller’s stuff enabled him to strike out 34% of batters in 2023, the fifth-highest rate among minor league pitchers with at least 50 appearances.

The flip side? He walked 45 batters in 62.1 innings.

“You’re willing to accept maybe an extra baserunner here and there just because you know the odds of the next guy putting the ball in play aren’t that good,” Haines said, adding that Miller’s 18.5% walk rate at Triple-A was “not an indication of how well he actually did throw quality strikes consistently.

“The Triple-A strike zone with the automatic balls and strikes, it’s the hardest strike zone to pitch to in all of baseball . . . I think we saw improvements and smaller misses, when he did miss, to the point where we know at the major league level, his stuff is gonna play.”

In November, the Giants added Miller to their 40-man roster. He figures to compete for a spot in the San Francisco bullpen during spring training.

“He just has to learn his body and continue to grow like he has in the last 12 months,” Haines said.

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