Mariners calling up top shortstop prospect Brad Miller

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Brad Miller is the newest member of the Mariners infield. (USATSI)
Brad Miller is the newest member of the Mariners infield. (USATSI)

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The Mariners are calling up top shortstop prospect Brad Miller, reports Ryan Divish of the News Tribune. He is expected to join the team in time for Friday night's game against the Cubs.

“I'm on cloud nine,” said Triple-A Tacoma manager John Stearns. “I got to tell him that he was going to the big leagues for the first time. It brings tears to your eyes, that's how good it is. He was crying, and it was a sensational moment. You get a few of those moments in your lifetime. I was able to tell David Wright that he was going to the big leagues for the first time when I was working for New York, and this was every bit as good or better than that.”

Miller, 23, was a second-round pick in the 2011 draft out of Clemson. He opened this year with Double-A Jackson, where he hit .294/.379/.471 with six home runs in 42 games. Following a promotion to Triple-A, he hit .356/.426/.596 with another six homers in 26 games. Miller is a .334/.409/516 career hitter in 219 minor league games.

Before the season, Baseball America ranked Miller as the ninth best prospect in Seattle's farm system. "Miller long has drawn comparisons to Craig Counsell, mostly because of his similar stance at the plate. ... (His) feel for hitting, leadership and desire can make him an everyday player in the majors," wrote the publication in their 2013 Prospect Handbook.

Outside of Kyle Seager, the Mariners haven't had much luck developing their young hitters in recent years. Dustin Ackley, Jesus Montero and Justin Smoak have all been disappointments at the big-league level to date. That doesn't mean the team should stop trying to incorporate young position players into the lineup, of course.

Miller is expected to take over as the team's starting shortstop, pushing trade candidate Brendan Ryan into a utility infielder's role.

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