Mariners Minors: Ian Miller – Center Fielder – Arkansas Travelers
The next Mariners Minors segment keys on the hitter with the best average for the Arkansas Travelers. With the Mariners since just 2013, Ian Miller is playing his way towards a promotion to Triple-A.
Miller’s skillset is different, but that may be a key to why the Mariners pulled the trigger on him in the draft.
Born in Pennsylvania, Miller has a rich history of athleticism and baseball in his family. His father played baseball at UCLA and was drafted by the Reds.
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Miller chose to stay close to home to play his college ball at Wagner College in New York City. Mariners fans can enjoy the fact that he is already a big Seahawks fan. At least in the sense that the Wagner mascot is the Seahawk. In 3 years at Wagner, he hit .301, with his best season being his final year where he hit .329.
His power was not one of the selling points for Seattle, as he only hit one homer in the three years. He notched 30 RBIs though, and showed solid plate discipline, as he drew 51 walks and only struck out 78 times in his college career. He also posted a career .967 fielding percentage.
Career with the Mariners
He was selected in the 14th round of the 2013 draft. In his career in the M’s farm he’s hitting .280, but in 2017, he’s hitting .339 in 62 games. There’s more to him though than just a solid batting average.
The boy has mad wheels.
In his 2015 with Jackson, he swiped 49 bases in 114 games, and in 399 games at all levels he’s claimed 156 steals. He also boasts an 83% success rate on steal attempts. The speed is an asset in center field and on the base paths. Having a guy like him progressing like he is can probably help the Mariners breathe easier when they think about the concept of possibly not re-signing Dyson after this season. That whole topic can get addressed later, but for now, it’s nice to have a speed demon outfielder that can get on easily and make his way around the bases with ease.
Next: Mariners Minors: Danny Muno - Third Baseman - Tacoma
2017 has been a breakthrough season for Miller, and if he can build on it in future years, we could see him with the major league team in a few years. Now Seattle does have really solid depth in the outfield, but if they do not re-sign Dyson that fourth outfielder/speedy, base running specialist void could be filled by Miller. Here’s to him as he looks to rise through the system in his hunt for the big leagues.