Whether the Dodgers were lucky or saw something the rest of the majors didn’t, there is no denying that in the last two seasons they have struck gold with two players who were seemingly cast aside by other teams. They did it in 2017 with Chris Taylor, and most recently in 2018 with Max Muncy. Could Brad Miller be that for the Dodgers this season?
Miller was drafted in the amateur draft by the Seattle Mariners in the 2011 amateur draft. He’s spent parts of the last six seasons with the Mariners, Rays, and Brewers. His career year included hitting 30 home runs in 2016 with the Rays, when he played 152 games. He signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers, with an invitation to spring training.
We took an in-depth look at Miller not long after he arrived to camp.
Miller fits the type of player the Front Office is looking for—versatile.
“He’s interesting,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I’ve seen Brad for years on the other side with the Mariners (where he played from 2013–15). He plays with a lot of energy. For him, to show value for us, he’s obviously a left-hand hitter, can play all over the diamond. … the move around the diamond, the energy .. could be a good fit.”
So far this spring, Miller has impressed. He’s played in six games, batting .308 with one monster home run hit in last night’s game against the San Diego Padres. And even though he is mainly an infielder, he has been playing some games in the outfield. Now that he has completely healed from a hip labrum surgery he had last season, he feels like he can play anywhere.
“It’s unbelievable,” Miller said. “I don’t have that dark cloud over my head knowing there’s something structurally wrong.”
He also has expressed wanting to be on the field with his new Dodger teammates. He spoke about having to face Walker Buehler in batting practice
“That’s high octane,” Miller said of Buehler. “I was just battling for my life. I want to play behind that guy. He’s nasty. My first two pitches I took, I was being a wimp. Then I locked it in and hit the one up the middle and he locked it in and it became a battle and we all got something out of it. That made the game easy compared to Walker, nothing against those guys. That’s no joke. Walker was awesome.”
Being able to play all over the field is the key to making it on the Dodgers’ roster. Following in the footsteps of Taylor and Muncy, Miller will have to make the case with his bat to stay on the big league team.
A quick perusal of Twitter will show you that Miller may quickly become a fan favorite. Could the Dodgers get so lucky three years in a row?