No. 1: Brad Miller takes one to Freese’s Lawn
If fans were asked to guess who would tie for the lead in homers for the St. Louis Cardinals, it would be quite a while before anyone guessed the utility man Brad Miller.
After being signed for just $2M before 2020, Miller was the Cardinals’ best hitter for the first half of their two-month schedule. Much like fans saw Jedd Gyorko do from time to time, Miller just got red hot and was able to carry the offense for some time.
The longest homer of the year for Miller came just after that stretch on September 12, right when he was cooling off, but still batting cleanup.
Reds’ pitcher Tejay Antone didn’t make an awful pitch here, but his changeup just sat up a little too far in the zone.
As we talked about with Matt Carpenter and his lefty swing, Brad Miller also generates easy loft on balls down in the zone. Here, it didn’t even look like Miller put any effort into the swing. However, this ball flew out to center field deep into Freese’s Lawn. This 446 ft homer left the bat at 107 mph and just carried all night long.
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The Cardinals went on to hit three more homers in this game, winning it 7-1 after Miller got the ball rolling by tying the game in the 4th.
This winter, it would make a ton of sense to bring back Brad Miller as a utility man again. He shouldn’t have had to step up into the role he did last year and if he is used as a utility man, he can be a strength for the Cardinals off the bench.
Miller may be due for a raise after he tied for the team lead in homers in 2020, but it shouldn’t take more than $5M to reward Miller for his performance and bring him back into the fold.
So there you go. Five beautiful moments from 2020, a season we can’t wait to forget. There is no doubt that the team’s schedule hurt their offensive performance, but that is no excuse not to add to it for 2021. I hope this could bring out at least one smile.