Mariners' Bryce Miller Has A Special Arm
In February, a video on social media showed righthander Bryce Miller topping 100 mph in a bullpen session.
That provided a glimpse of things to come.
During minor league spring training, the hard-throwing 23-year-old from Texas A&M showcased the electric arsenal that prompted the Mariners to make him their fourth-round pick last year.
“I wouldn’t say he surprised people, but I think it was a little bit of his coming-out party in spring training to the larger group,” Mariners farm director Andy McKay said. “Because the stuff—it was overwhelming.
“It’s electric, no matter how you break it down.”
It all starts with Miller’s high-90s fastball, which has elite ride up in the zone and can reach triple digits.
He complements that with a hard, mid-80s slider that serves as an effective secondary pitch.
He also has what McKay described as a “very usable” changeup and curveball.
“There’s a lot of weapons there,” McKay said.
Miller is still relatively new to pitching. As a freshman, he went to Blinn JC in Texas as a two-way player. He ended up ditching playing the outfield.
Miller then transferred to Texas A&M and pitched three seasons for the Aggies, spending two years in the bullpen before earning a rotation spot last season.
After being drafted, Miller went straight to Low-A Modesto. He struck out 15 of the 45 batters he faced, but allowed 15 hits in 9.1 innings.
“I really just started pitching my senior year of high school,” Miller told 710 ESPN Seattle earlier this spring. “And I think every year I throw, I learn more about my body and about pitching.
“I think it’s just all starting to come together. And I think there’s still a long way to go.”
Miller began this season with High-A Everett. The Mariners are using him as a starter, but scouting director Scott Hunter acknowledged last summer Miller could have a future as a late-inning reliever.
“We’re really banking on the athlete (and) the arm, and we’ll figure out the rest as it comes,” Hunter said.
“But this is a really special arm.”
— Top 100 Prospects Julio Rodriguez and Matt Brash both skipped over Triple-A and earned spots on the Mariners’ Opening Day roster. Rodriguez slashed .412/.487/.794 in 14 spring training games to solidify himself as Seattle’s starting center fielder. Brash, one of the breakthrough stars of the minor leagues last season, won the Mariners’ No. 5 rotation spot.
— The Mariners sent pitching prospects and past second-round picks Brandon Williamson and Connor Phillips to the Reds as part of the trade that brought outfielder Jesse Winker and third baseman Eugenio Suarez to Seattle. Williamson, a Top 100 Prospect, had one of the best strikeout rates in the minor leagues last season.
— Hard-throwing reliever prospect Andres Muñoz reached 102.8 mph in the Mariners’ April 14 game. It was the fastest pitch by a Seattle pitcher since the Statcast era began in 2015.