The decision to call up Bryce Miller to the major leagues was a peculiar one on paper. He had struggled all year at Double-A with the Arkansas Travelers, posting a 6.86 ERA and 1.32 WHIP over 19.2 innings. Not only was he taking a huge step up in competition, he didn't even seem comfortable at his current level.
Bryce Miler earned a grade of B for his 2023 season.
Miller put those concerns to rest, allowing his pitching to do the talking. In his major league debut, he took a perfect game into the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics, ultimately recording ten strikeouts in six innings while giving up just one earned run.
In the month of May, Miller posted a 3.00 ERA and 0.75 WHIP over 36.0 innings. However, he quickly succumbed to major-league hitting, regressing to a 5.48 ERA over 23.0 innings in June. As a strikeout-pitcher who utilized his four-seam fastball 58.5% of the time, he struggled immensely with giving up hard contact. Opposing batters slugged .450 against the pitch, often due to middle-middle placement.
On the upside, Miller's willingness to continuously attack the strike zone gave him one of the lowest walk rates of all qualified pitchers in MLB. He walked opposing batters just 4.8% of the time, an incredible figure that placed him in the 95th percentile.
For the 2023 season, Miller ended up with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. A back-of-the-rotation arm that helped Seattle secure outs when necessary, he's got a long way to go before being held in the upper echelon of MLB pitchers but at just 25 years old, there's plenty of time to realize his full potential. If he's able to lean more heavily on breaking balls and move his fastballs away from the heart of the zone, Miller could become another name in a long list of potent Seattle starters.