With their 4th round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, the Seattle Mariners selected Bryce Miller, an RHP from Texas A&M. Now that the Mariners have signed him to a deal, it’s a good time to find out a bit more about the first college player that they selected in the draft.
Yup, you read that right. In case you hadn’t heard, the Mariners took high schoolers with their first three picks in this year’s draft, which was a big delineation from their process over the last five years. This year, it took until Day Two and the 4th round before their first college player was taken.
Bryce Miller signed for well under slot, a bargain for the Mariners.
The pick value for the 4-113 pick was $512,400, and the Mariners came to terms on a $400,000 signing bonus for the righty. That means they saved over $100K, which they could sweeten the deals of later picks, or entice the top three a bit more. Enough about that though. Let’s learn about Miller.
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Originally a reliever, there was a chance that Miller could’ve been drafted in the short 2020 draft if he entered. He declined, deciding he wanted to give it a go as a starter and make a run at being taken early on in the 2021 draft. It was a risky proposition, as many relievers will lose a couple of MPH on their pitches when they have to stretch out.
With Miller, it was nearly the other way. He stuck around 94, and would occasionally touch 98 MPH. When you pair the heat that he can bring with his spin rate and movement, he received nearly a plus-plus grade on the fastball, settling in at a 65. That’s plenty good for a major league pitch.
His slider is likely his next best pitch, which is the choice more and more pitchers seem to be going with. Millers is a mid 80’s hard-breaking slider, that covers a lot of ground. He’s able to keep hitters off balance by mixing in a bigger and slower curve in the 70s, and a change that falls pretty hard.
You can see what it looks like when he puts it all together, as he had a 15 strikeout game in just his third start of the season. When he can keep it in the zone, you can see the ceiling off a #2/3 starter, a worthy selection at #4.
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However, control issues are his bugaboo. He walked 37 in 56.2 innings this year, for an awful rate of 5.9 BB/9. With only one main issue to combat, fans should be feeling pretty good about Miller. The Mariners got a great pitcher with their fourth-round pick and even signed him under slot. Welcome to Seattle, Bryce Miller.