Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a number of notable high-end pitching prospect make their MLB debuts. Now, Mariners prospect Bryce Miller will join the likes of Tanner Bibee, Logan Allen, and soon-to-be Dodger Gavin Stone. The former Texas A&M standout will make his debut on May 2 against the Oakland Athletics, as the 12-16 Mariners look to get back on track in the AL West. Here’s a closer look at Miller.
A Look at Miller
A fourth-round pick from Texas A&M in 2021, Mariners pitching prospect Bryce Miller put himself on the fast track to the Majors after an impressive 2022 season. Across three levels (A, A+, AA) in 2022, Miller struck out 163 batters over 133.2 IP and opposing hitters batted just .195 off the righty.
The 24-year-old did quite well with Arkansas (AA) in 2022, as he posted a strong 3.20 ERA and 61 strikeouts over 50.1 IP last season for the Travelers. The 24-year-old has been hit more in 2023, however. Miller gave up 13 runs over his first three starts (14.2 IP), but he settled down nicely in his last start on April 25 against the Dodgers’ AA affiliate.
The rap on Miller is this: the righty boasts a plus fastball that will sit in the mid-90s with good life, per MLB.com. Additionally, Miller owns three other weapons in a curveball, slider, and changeup. It’s a diverse arsenal of weapons, and Miller’s skillset and demeanor impressed a lot of figures in the Mariners organization, including manager Scott Servais. Servais told The Athletic in March that he felt Miller could be a starter in the Majors with a “really, really good” mix of pitches.
Per the Seattle Times and The Athletic, Miller will officially be called up on May 2 to make the start on Tuesday against a middling Athletics team. Ironically, he’ll matchup with another 2021 MLB Draft pick in A’s right-hander Mason Miller. Should Miller perform well, both outlets reported that Miller could stick in the Mariners rotation for the forseeable future.
A Look at the Mariners
Miller joins a young Mariners rotation that includes former first-round picks George Kirby and Logan Gilbert, both of whom are in their mid-20s. The decision to call up the righty comes out a time where the M’s need production from its starters in a big way. Luis Castillo has been everything Seattle needed when the team acquired him last summer from the Reds, while Kirby’s looked dominant. On the other hand, Gilbert and Marco Gonzales have yielded less-than-stellar results, while Chris Flexen has struggled since replacing Robbie Ray in the rotation.
Former Rays farmhand Easton McGee delivered six quality innings on April 29 against the Blue Jays, but he’s now on the IL. With McGee out and Flexen seemingly out of the loop, Miller will be asked to give the M’s some much-needed length and consistency. It is, however, an aggressive decision given the fact he’s only thrown 70 innings above A ball.