It was quite the weekend for the Mariners. They swept the Houston Astros for their fourth, fifth and sixth consecutive wins, and did it behind strong performances from players that will play vital roles in the franchise’s future. One of those players was Brad Miller, and he received the distinction as American League Player of the Week for his efforts.
Now sure, this “week” was only three games, so that slightly dilutes the importance of the award. But what a huge honor for Miller to nab less than a month into his major league career. He certainly earned it too. In the weekend series against the ‘Stros, Miller hit .385 (5-for-13) with his first two major league home runs and seven RBI (doubling his total prior to this weekend). He also had an off the charts 1.346 OPS.
Miller is the Mariners first AL player of the week since August 2012, when Felix Hernandez won the honor for doing Felix things. In this instance, Felix things refers to throwing the 23rd perfect game in major league history. Perhaps more significantly, Miller is the first Mariners’ rookie to win the award since Ken Griffey Jr. did so in 1989. That’s a lot of rookie that didn’t win the award in that time span. Ichiro won the AL rookie of the year and MVP in 2001 and never won player of the week. It’s fair to say Miller had a good weekend.
Miller will hope to build on his success this weekend in the upcoming seven-game home stand. He showed some impressive power in the Houston series that some people probably didn’t know he had when he blasted his first home run into the upper deck in right field. Perhaps more promising was his ability to slap base hits to all fields and go the other way in tough counts.
A few weeks ago, Brad Miller seemed like an intriguing but premature call up. Today, he seems like a major league basebal player, and his award cements just that.