Miller dealing for Everett

By on July 13, 2016

 EHS product has tossed eight-straight scoreless innings

Ephrata High School graduate and current Seattle minor leaguer Brandon Miller (left) poses for a photo with Mariners’ ace Felix Hernandez this past Sunday. Hernandez pitched for Miller’s Everett AquaSox ballclub Sunday while on a rehab assignment.

Ephrata High School graduate and current Seattle minor leaguer Brandon Miller (left) poses for a photo with Mariners’ ace Felix Hernandez this past Sunday. Hernandez pitched for Miller’s Everett AquaSox ballclub Sunday while on a rehab assignment.

Ephrata High School and recent Millersville University graduate Brandon Miller has seemed to have settled in as a member of the NorthWest League’s Everett AquaSox.

This past Saturday at home against the Spokane Indians, Miller tossed his second-straight scoreless performance in an eventual 10-3 victory.

Miller got the start and tossed four innings of goose eggs, allowing three hits while striking out four and walking none before reaching his pitch count.

He did not go deep enough into the game to collect the win, but lowered his ERA to 4.08 on the year.

Miller, who blanked the Eugene Emeralds for four innings in his previous outing, has now allowed just two earned runs in his last 12 innings and hasn’t been scored upon in his last eight frames.

“The last few outings have gone much better than the first couple,” Miller said Monday by email. “A few things that I’ve been using to be more successful are locating my fastball on the corners of the plate and throwing more change ups to keep the hitters off balance. Also, pitch sequence has been something I’ve been working on to. That means what pitch I should throw in each count to the different hitters.”

After dominating Division Two hitters this past year at Millersville, going 12-2 with a 1.42 ERA and 115 strikeouts while walking just 13 in 107.2 innings pitched, Miller, admits there was an adjustment period both on and off the field transitioning to professional ball.

He allowed five earned runs in his minor league debut, but has lowered his ERA each time out since then. On the season, he is 1-2 in 17.2 innings with 14 strikeouts and just two walks.

“The biggest difference between college and pro ball would have to be that here I can’t throw two of the same pitches in the same spot consecutively,” he said. “I always have to be mixing up pitches so I don’t fall into any patterns. Off the field it has been different having to show up to the clubhouse five hours before game time and hanging out with the guys. It fun being with everyone but at school I was so used to showing up two to three hours before. We definitely spend more time at the ballpark, which is a lot of fun.”

He has especially had fun when a current Seattle Mariner has come down to pitch in a rehab assignment. Wade Miley and Charlie Furbush made recent starts for the AquaSox, and this past Sunday, current Mariners’ ace and big league star Felix Hernandez pitched five-plus innings for Everett.

Miller was asked if he has received any tips from the Major Leaguers.

“They never really talk baseball to us but I try to watch their bullpens and their outings in a game to learn how they get batters out at the big league level,” Miller said. “Two things I’ve learned…every pitch they throw is down hill and is in the bottom of the zone and also they have mastered throwing any of their different pitches in any count.”

Miller was particularly impressed with Hernandez, who was very down to earth.

“Felix was a very friendly guy,” Miller said. “He hung out with us in the clubhouse and after the game he bought us all dinner. He was awesome to watch on the field because it was cool knowing that his pro career started on that field just as mine has. Look where he is now. Seeing his success and where he started will always be something to remember as I continue to work through my professional career.”

Miller’s next start hasn’t been announced but will probably come later this week at Hillsboro Hops, an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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