Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 27…of 286. Stay tuned.
Brandon Cole Miller is a 6’4″, 210 lb. right-handed pitcher from Ephrata, PA. Born on June 16th, 1995, he was selected in the sixth round of the 2016 draft by the Seattle Mariners, 177th overall out of Millersville University, a Division 2 school in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. He signed for a $250,000 bonus.
Players picked with the 177th selection have generally fared pretty well at getting to the big show. 13 have made it to the majors, a success rate of 24 percent. Craig Lefferts (1979, Kansas City Royals, 8.9 career WAR) and Glenn Abbott (1969, Oakland Athletics, 5.5) are the most successful. This season, the Marlins selected Cameron Barstad with the pick.
Pitching for the Marauders in 2016, Miller was 12-2 with a 1.42 ERA over 15 starts. He walked 13 and struck out 115 in 107 2/3 innings, and held opponents to a 0.71 WHIP. After his selection, he joined the low-A Everett Aqua Sox in the Northwest League, and made 13 starts and one trip out of the bullpen. He went 4-2 with a 2.72 ERA, with 51 K’s and just seven walks in 56 innings pitched. He also maintained a 0.96 WHIP.
In 2017, Miller graduated to the single-A Clinton LumberKings in the Midwest League, and went 9-4 with a 3.65 ERA over 18 rotation starts. He whiffed 94 and gave 23 free passes in 101 frames. On July 20th, the Mariners sent him with Pablo Lopez, Brayan Hernandez, and Lukas Schiraldi to the Miami Marlins for David Phelps. At the time, Miller was the Mariner’s 21st rated prospect, according to the MLB Pipeline:
"The right-hander’s fastball sits right around 90 mph but plays up thanks to his ability to move it to all quadrants of the zone. His slider is his best offering, thrown with short, late biting action, though it’s not a huge strikeout pitch for him. His fringy curve is used more as a get-me-over pitch for strike one or as a chase pitch out of the zone with two strikes. He has feel for a changeup, but doesn’t use it much."
After joining the Marlins system, Miller made five starts down the stretch for the single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League. He was 0-3 with an 8.86 ERA, a .326 oppBA, and a 1.78 WHIP. His weak showing made necessary a repeat performance at the level.
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In 2018, Miller made 28 appearances in total for the Grasshoppers, including 17 starts. he posted a 3-9 record and a 5.21 ERA, with 101 whiffs in 122 2/3 innings. Opponents hit .282 against him, and collected 1.37 WHIP over that time. His best game of the season was probably on June 3rd, when he held the West Virginia Power to one run on three hits and struck out seven in six innings, earning a 5-2 victory.
Miller is likely to begin the 2019 campaign with the Jupiter Hammerheads, in the high-A Florida State League. Normal progression would see him challenging for a Miami Marlins roster spot somewhere in 2021.
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