Outfielder Brandon Miller displayed impressive power number last season for low Single-A Hagerstown, and hopes to continue that trend as he graduates this season to high Single-A Potomac.Coming into Saturday’s game, Miller had hit home runs in two of his last three games with the P-Nats.
While with the Suns, Miller slammed 18 home runs in 103 games. He also had 26 doubles and two triples to go along with 72 RBIs.
“Yeah, last season was fun,” Miller said. “I struggled at the very beginning. And then I kind of got it together. Coaching staff really helped me out to get my mental approach ready. And this year will be more exciting. I think I am more prepared and know what is coming this year.”
Miller knows everyone talks about his power, but he wants to be known for getting base hits and making things happen for his team at the plate.
“Definitely a hitter first,” Miller said. “Going into last season, I was really concerned with the power more than anything because I know I have it there. But you have to hit the ball first in order to have the power. Definitely being a hitter first, and then if I just put a good swing on it the power is going to be there.
“We are going to have a really good team this year. I am really excited. (We are) really strong lineup hitting wise. I think our staff is going to be pretty strong. Exciting things. We are going to be good.”
Potomac manager Tripp Keister agrees that Miller’s power hitter has come along because he has worked on his hitting.
“I think power is the last thing to develop,” Keister said. “You got to be a good hitter and then your power kind of comes with that. I think he got better as a hitter, and then in turn he started to get more power numbers, RBIs and home runs. If you look back at his year, I think he was second in our system behind Zach Walters for home runs.
Walters had 29 home runs last season for Triple-A Syracuse; Miller had 20.
“(Miller) is a hard worker,” Keister said. “Definitely pleased he became a better hitter. He cares about being that kind of player. He has a chance to hit the ball out of the ballpark every time he comes up.”
Miller said that spring training was good warm-up for him and his teammates as they go their swings ready for the season.
“Definitely ... the timing, that is the thing that takes the longest to get back,” Miller said. “But after the first couple of weeks, I think most of us start to get it going. Pitchers start to dominate the first couple of weeks, but then we start to catch up on it. Down there the majority of us that are here, we had a really good spring training. We are ready.”
Miller played catcher a lot in his younger days, so he idolized former Nationals backstop Ivan Rodriguez when he was with the Texas Rangers.
“I was actually drafted twice as a catcher,” Miller said. “(The) Nationals drafted me as a catcher in 2010. Boston drafted me as a catcher in 2008. Now I am an outfielder. I was a Rangers fan growing up, because they were a bunch of power hitters.”
But Miller is exclusively an outfielder now, and turning heads with his power numbers.