Interesting Double-A Promotions: Brad Miller (SS-Seattle), Mikie Mahtook (OF-Tampa Bay)
There were a pair of interesting Double-A promotions to the Southern League this week. The Seattle Mariners moved shortstop Brad Miller from High-A High Desert in the California League up to Double-A Jackson in the Southern League. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays promoted outfielder Mikie Mahtook from High-A Charlotte in the Florida State League to Double-A Montgomery in the Southern.
A second-round pick out of Clemson in 2011, Miller was hitting .339/.412/.524 with 11 homers, 52 walks, 79 strikeouts, and 19 steals in 410 at-bats for High Desert, strong numbers although the park was helping him. He's 3-for-12 with three strikeouts and a homer so far in Double-A. Given his college track record and positive scouting reports, I am optimistic about his bat. The question here is defense: he made 31 errors in 97 games at High Desert, although many of them were early in the year. He's errorless in Double-A so far and showing good range. Glove questions were the issue in college and helped keep him out of the first round, though he has shortstop tools if he can improve his reliability.
Former LSU star Mahtook was hitting .290/.358/.419 with 29 walks, 71 strikeouts, and 19 steals in 341 at-bats for Charlotte. So far he's 2-for-9 with two doubles and four strikeouts in Double-A. He wasn't producing quite as much power as anticipated, but the Florida State League isn't easy for homers and his production had been improving of late. He split his time between center and right field, collecting 10 assists with good range numbers. He's playing right at Montgomery and a corner spot is his most likely destination in the majors.