Mariner of Interest: Brad Miller
Earlier today, Tommy covered the presumed crown jewel in a David Price trade. Now let’s look at a potential secondary piece.
While everyone assumed Nick Franklin would be the second banana, the venerable Peter Gammons suggested this morning the Rays would instead ask for Brad Miller. Franklin has been the better prospect throughout their developments, yet Miller is interesting in his own regard.
Known primarily for his unorthodox mechanics, Miller hits sans batting gloves and loading mechanism; he starts his hands high and, during his more extreme college days, elicited comparisons to Craig Counsell. Despite the odd appearance, he’s short to the ball and has a good feel for contact. There’s a surprising amount of strength in his swing, too, and he’s a threat to split gaps and clear fences. Miller is quick out of the box and grades as an above-average baserunner, which plays up when married with his high motor.
Miller’s future defensive home has been unclear, with the thought being he would eventually slide to second base. Yet the Mariners continued to play him at shortstop, and he’s progressed to the point where he’s adequate, if not incredible. It’s unknown where Miller would play if he were acquired by Tampa Bay, however, the Rays would presumably give him experience in the outfield as well, with an eye on him assuming a super-utility role of sorts, similar to those of Ben Zobrist, Sean Rodriguez, and Kelly Johnson over the past few seasons.