Mariners News: Brad Miller Named AL Player of the Week

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Brad Miller had a phenomenal week, this coming right after he was moved into what manager Lloyd McClendon called the “super utility role”. Unfazed, which is incredibly impressive for a young player, he responds with one of his best weeks as a pro, and was named American League Player of the Week by Major League Baseball.

This has to be exciting news for Brad Miller, as he’s taken his fair share of criticism from the Mariners’ fanbase. It’s always nice to be rewarded for your hard work, and this accomplishment can only add to Brad Miller’s newfound confidence at the dish. Just a couple weeks ago, he looked to be on the fast track to the minors, and an almost certain guarantee to at least lose his starting spot at shortstop. But as life and baseball often go, it’s all about how you respond to adversity, and he responded about as well as you could’ve asked.

This week Brad Miller hit .429 (9-for-21) with four home runs, including a multi home run game against the Boston Red Sox on May 16th. This week he also recorded three doubles, five RBIS, and had six runs scored for the Mariners. The most impressive stat for Brad Miller in the past week? He led the MLB with a 1.143 slugging percentage, far outdoing his regular season slugging percentage of .500.

You talk about filling the stat sheet, and that is exactly what Brad Miller did. Lloyd McClendon noticed, and that is why he kept moving him up in the order, most notably to the leadoff spot in yesterday’s ballgame. What he could possibly bring to the leadoff spot is invaluable, as this week he proved that he can truly do it all. He can supply speed to the top of the order, and has the ability to turn on any pitch and put it in the seats. That is evident in his four home runs and 1.143 slugging percentage this week. This week he also showcased the ability to consistently get on base, which is more of your prototypical leadoff man. Hitting .429 is impressive, but more impressive is that when he got on base (9 times) he scored six of those times. That means he is getting on at the right time, has been aggressive on the base paths, and has the speed to score on balls hit to the outfield and the ability to leg out infield singles.

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This is most evident in the May 15th game against the Boston Red Sox. With one out in the 9th he got on base with an infield single to the shortstop, showcasing his speed. Then, he’s able to bust it to second base on a ground out to first by Robinson Cano. This was huge because it took away the double play, which would’ve ended the inning, and instead he kept the inning alive for Nelson Cruz. We all know how the rest of this played out, as Brad Miller was able to score from second base as Cruz drove the ball deep into left center to give the M’s the walk off victory.

The versatility and “five tools” that Brad Miller was able to showcase this week have the Mariners praying that this is more than just a one week hot streak. Brad Miller has made me a believer, and those five tools are what ultimately led him to being named AL Player of the Week! Congrats Brad!

Next: A Fresh Perspective on Safeco Field

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