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Cubs sign outfielder Ian Miller to minor-league deal

And you’re saying, “Who?”

Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

You’re almost definitely saying “Who?” to this move, because I did:

So, let’s learn about him together.

Ian Miller was the Mariners’ 14th-round pick out of Wagner College (Staten Island, NY) in 2013. (Interesting side note: The Cubs’ pick in that round was Daniel Ponce De Leon, who didn’t sign and eventually was drafted by the Cardinals, for whom he has pitched briefly the last couple of years.)

Miller played six-plus seasons in the Mariners organization before he was sold to the Twins last August. He played in 12 games for Minnesota last September, going 3-for-17.

He’s a speed guy. In 696 minor-league games with over 3,000 plate appearances he’s hit .274/.340/.357 with 243 stolen bases and 51 caught stealing (that’s an 82.6 percent success rate, which is pretty good). He also draws walks, that’s a decent on-base percentage.

He plays all three outfield positions and seems to have decent-enough fielding numbers in the minor leagues. Here’s some video of him batting in the Arizona Fall League in 2018. (Nice socks, BTW.)

If you were expecting me to say “low-risk, high possible reward” for Miller, I’m not going to do that. This is an organizational depth signing. Miller is 27; it’s possible he could make a big-league roster as a fifth outfielder, but more likely he’s being signed to be in the outfield at Triple-A Iowa. He bats lefthanded, so there’s that.

Eventually, the Cubs will announce all these minor-league signings in a bunch, but until then, I’ll report them as I hear about them.


Ian Miller

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