There’s been a long string of Aces for the Seattle Mariners, from Luis Castillo to Felix Hernandez to Randy Johnson. But there’s a new king on the horizon, and his name is Bryce Miller. The 2nd overall prospect for the Mariners was drafted in the 4th round of the 2021 MLB Draft and ever since then he’s risen to the occasion.
At the age of 24, Miller is already at the top of some leaderboards in terms of his stuff. When watching Miller pitch you’ll see command from a youngster you usually don’t see. Against one of the best lineups in the Astros, Miller constantly attacked the zone against guys like Alex Bregman and Yordan Alverez and got into 0-2 counts very quickly.
In that outing against the defending champions, Miller posted 6 scoreless innings with 5 K’s and 1 walk. Coming into the big leagues, Miller was ranked as the 2nd prospect in the Mariners system and 61st overall. MLB.com had scouting grades of Fastball:65 | Curveball:50 | Slider: 55 | Changeup 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55. These scouting grades have been only a shell of what Miller has been in the MLB so far because so far he’s been dominant.
In 3 games started (19 IP), Miller has pitched to a 0.47 ERA, 1.57 FIP, 1.0 fWAR and 18 K’s. Even though two of the three starts have been against the A’s and Tigers, just watching this kid pitch is truly an art form and the stuff easily plays up in the majors. And why does his stuff play up in the majors? Well his 4-seam fastball is truly one of the best the majors already has to offer. His 4-seam fastball has a Stuff+ grade of 135 which would rank 4th which is above fastballs of Mason Miller, Gerrit Cole and Shohei Ohtani. And the reason why that fastball grade is so high is because of the RPM (Revolutions Per Minute)
The RPM’s on the Bryce Miller fastball is 2600 which is in the same realm as Jacob deGrom’s fastball and the higher the RPM the more spin and the more spin makes the fastball appear more fast then the number on the radar gun shows. Multiple minor league sources and minor leaguers that played in the majors have stated that Bryce Miller’s fastball is the best they’ve ever seen and for good reason. Batter hit .093 and has only surrendered 4 hits on 157 pitches.
When watching Miller you can see how he pitches and it’s very ace-like. His ELITE fastball lives at the top of the zone and rightfully so. 99th percentile in Fastball Spin rate and 84th percentile in Chase Rate on that fastball. Miller’s savant page is even more impressive, 85th percentile in HardHit%, 90th percentile in xERA, 86th in xBA and 99th in BB%
Miller is primarily a 4-seam/Slider combo pitcher, Miller’s slider has a 122 Stuff+ while his changeup which he uses 4% of the time has a 100 Stuff+ grade. Being in the 99th percentile in BB% is really impressive for a 24 year old and his fastball control is the reason why that grade is so good. Miller always finds himself in 0-2, 1-2 counts and usually never gets behind in counts which limits the high pitch count.
I’m really impressed with both Miller’s that have come up in Mason and Bryce and both will be superstars in their right ways. Both electric fastball flamethrowers have taken over the MLB so far and I’m excited to watch more starts from these kids. King Felix was the savior for the Mariners, Randy Johnson was the savior in those key seasons, Luis Castillo has been key for the Mariners since being traded and now Bryce Miller looks to be added to an already stacked young core in Seattle. Could there be a new king in Seattle? I think so