When Brad Miller came up as a midseason call-up in 2013, he provided a spark to the lineup for the Seattle Mariners. While he faded significantly down the stretch, Miller will be expected to be a cornerstone of the lineup for the Mariners in 2014 batting leadoff. He needs to show that the Miller that burst onto the scene last summer has some staying power this season and can provide consistent production at the top of the Seattle lineup.
Miller got called up at the end of June last season and quickly provided some pop to the Seattle lineup. In just half a season, Miller hit eight home runs and finished the year with a slash line of .265/.318/.418 as he solidified his spot as a future star for the M’s. He saw his production dip in September but is still the likely frontrunner to be the every-day shortstop and leadoff hitter in 2014 this spring.
That is no guarantee, however. Since Seattle went out and signed free agent Robinson Cano to man second base for the next 10 years, incumbent second baseman Nick Franklin has been bumped from his role on the team. That moves Franklin into a competition for a spot in the lineup with Miller to play shortstop this spring. Miller has a huge advantage in terms of experience at short and the benefit of carrying the momentum of his strong debut last season.
This spring, Miller needs to show he has the staying power to be the shortstop of the future for Seattle. He flashed the ability to make it work in 2013. Can he prove that he’s the long-term answer this spring?