After three straight prep picks, the Mariners went back to their comfort zone in the fourth round, taking RHP Bryce Miller out of Texas A&M with the 114th pick in the 2021 MLB Draft.
Miller started his college career at a JC, Blinn College in Brenham, TX, before transferring to Texas A&M. As a sophomore, he pitched exclusively out of the bullpen for the Aggies, accruing a 3.68 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 44 innings, but as a senior (skipping the pandemic-shortened season numbers) making occasional starts, his ERA inflated to 4.45 as he struggled to harness his stuff consistently game after game, although he maintained his excellent strikeout rate: 70 in 56.2 innings.
Bryce Miller's 13th, 14th and 15th Ks...and Sword. ⚔️— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 7, 2021
0BBs T98mph pic.twitter.com/5LNJmM6yMx
Miller probably profiles best as a reliever for Seattle; he’s got a mid-90s fastball that rides up in the zone that’s his primary weapon, and a tight slider that could be his second pitch out of the bullpen. If he sticks in the rotation, he’ll need to refine either his heavy, slow curveball or running changeup to give him an average-or-better third pitch.
Like Morales is an interesting pick as a polished high school arm with lesser present upside, Miller is a less polished college arm with intriguing upside. Our Joe Doyle talked to Miller a while ago about coming into his own on the mound:
Also, if Miller starts in Modesto, he’ll fit right in with the mustache-heavy bullpen there: