Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/20/14
Youth propelling change When Jack Z took over the reigns of the Seattle Mariners front office, he asked for patience. He wanted to build a talent laden farm system that would eventually translate to a young, exciting team that would finally put the Mariners in contention once again. Well, Mariner faithful, it seems that time is approaching. With the call ups of both SS Brad Miller and 2B Nick Franklin, the Mariners have effectively put their youth movement into full swing. After dominating the minor leagues, both of these young players came into the league with a lot of expectations. While it’s still early, they are both fulfilling their prophecy quite nicely. Let’s break down their rise to the Majors and how they’re doing in their rookie seasons. Brad Miller While we’ve seen the case of Brad Miller before, it does not happen often. After tearing up the lower tiers of the minor leagues, Miller quickly rose to AA Jackson. While there, he hit .320 in his first 40 games to end the 2012 season and then in 42 games to start the 2013 season, he hit .294. Over those 82 games, Miller put up 92 hits, 48 runs, 14 doubles, 3 triples, 10 home runs, 37 RBI’s, stole 8 bases and tallied 42 walks and 56 strike outs. He quickly got the call to Tacoma and proceeded to play just 26 games before getting the call to the Mariners. In those 26 games, he hit .356 with 37 hits, 26 runs, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 6 home runs, 28 RBI’s, 15 walks and 18 strike outs. In 26 games, he put up comprable stats to his previous 82. Nick Franklin is helping lead the youth movement in Seattle with old school style Now in Seattle, Miller is continuing his successful ways. On a still subpar squad, Miller has been one of the bright spots. He’s sporting a .286 average in 13 games. He’s got 14 hits, 7 runs, 7 RBI’s, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 7 walks, 13 strike outs, and is 2 for 2 in stolen bases. While he is showing flashes of power, he is also hitting for average and has the speed to turn singles into double and doubles into triples. His discipline at the plate could use some work with all the strike outs, but he is still young and maturing. He is still going deep into counts and making pitchers work for their outs. Brad Miller is going to be a future star in the Majors. For now, we’ll let him star on our own stage here in Seattle. Nick Franklin Nick Franklin paved the way for Brad Miller to enter the way he did. Franklin absolutely dominated the minors, more than earning his ticket to the bigs. Even if he was rushed a little due to the mediocrity in Seattle, this kid came ready to play. He spent more time combined in Jackson and Tacoma than Miller, but it has also shown tremendously in his play. In 78 games in Jackson, Franklin hit .324 with 93 hits, 38 runs, 34 RBI’s, 20 doubles, 6 triples, 6 home runs, 30 walks, 56 strike outs and 14 stolen bases. In 103 games in Tacoma, Franklin hit just under .300 with 111 hits, 67 runs, 49 RBI’s, 24 doubles, 5 triples, 11 home runs, 54 walks, 88 strike outs and 10 stolen bases. While Franklin is also having strike out issues, he is drawing a lot of walks and is also showing mostly good discipline at the plate. If he can just turn some of those strike outs into walks or singles, he would be exactly what Dustin Ackley was prophesized to be, but with the actual skill of a 2nd baseman. Together, both Miller and Franklin are giving fans in Seattle hope for the future. While this season can still be won, the Mariners are building a team that all fans can enjoy for years to come. With Brad Miller and Nick Franklin at the top of the order, good things will happen. Let the youth movement commence. Kudos, Jack Z. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MARINERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
  • Jack Z. has had so many blunder moves since being in Seattle one can't count them all. Five years ago he didn't sign Raul because he didn't fit into his plan. Let Mike Morse walk also only to bring them both back. Traded Cliff Lee for Smoak. 2005 drafted Jeff Clement number 3 overall ahead of Braun, Zimmerman, Tulowitzki, McCutchen. Brought in Milton Bradley. So don't sell us on Jack. I could add many more.
  • A lot of those moves were pre-Jack. I'm not saying he's been perfect or all that great, but I applaud his drafting of these guys. I'm not selling anybody on anything but the fact that Miller and Franklin are young and actually producing. And that it may lead to a more exciting future.
  • Jack Z is the reason why the Mariners will always be a triple A ball club.
  • That's a fair comment. I think it can get better if the prospects pan out like they are expected, but I also did not say he's done a great overall job. Just bringing these guys up.
  • The Mariners can be fun to watch, but we wonder if they will continue to be the Yankees unofficial Farm Team. Every time they get a great player, they send them off to the Yankees. And one has to ask, will Raul become the new Edgar in terms of fan appreciation AND admiration?
  • They ARE finally fun to watch more often than not, even if it translates to some painful losses. It is a weird trend with Mariners castoffs going to New York or Boston and performing on a whole new level. If the Mariners do not trade Ibanez, he could have a huge impact on this clubhouse even more than he already has
  • Jack z didnt become GM until 2008 so blaming him for drafting Jeff clement is moronic Letting aged hitters go is just part of the biz.... Jack will eventually be judges by the young core he has coming up not for anything todo with ibanez or morse....
  • Thank you. His plan revolved around drafting and developing young talent, that is where his grade should come from in the end.
  • Here is Jack Z's record since coming to the Mariners

    2009 85-77 3rd in AL West
    2010 61-101 Last in AL West Chone Figgins 4 year 35 million
    2011 67-95 Last in AL West Hired loser Eric Wedge as coach
    2012 75-87 Last in AL West
    2013 43-52 Battling out with bottom feeder Houston Astros

    Yeah, Jack Z is great, just great
  • I did not say he is great nor have I lauded the overall team's record or performance. I was just stating that Miller and Franklin give this team a bright future if the prospects start panning out. Jack Z DOES deserve a little credit along the way for the likes of Miller, Franklin, Zunino, Hultzen, Walker. THey will eventually turn this team around when they become a true core of young talent on the big league team.
  • Jack Z does deserve credit for keeping the Mariners a farm club. One of the biggest losers in fan base in professional sports. And I honestly can't see how you guys can say they are exciting to watch whilst they still lose. I just don't get it. Oh, and I almost forgot...Franklin Gutierrez (way to go Jacky Z). I bet he does not have all those injuries when traded or sold to another team, probably the Yankees or the Red Sox :)

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