SEATTLE -- As a little leaguer, shortstop Brad Miller's team was always called The Mariners in honor of his and his teammates' favorite player: Seattle's Ken Griffey Jr. And Miller always wore number 24, just like The Kid.
On Tuesday, he took another stride in the footsteps of his idol, becoming the first Mariners rookie to win the American League Player of the Week Award since Griffey did it in 1989, six months before Miller was born.
"Obviously he's my favorite player of all time, so I mean that was kind of surreal," Miller said. "Just being mentioned with him and obviously growing up a Mariners fan and a Jr. fan, [it] was pretty surreal."
The Mariners swept the Astros in the week following the All-Star break thanks in large part to the first-year player's contributions. In three games against Houston, Miller hit .385 (5-for-13) with four runs scored, two home runs and seven RBIs with a 1.346 OPS. It is the first AL Player of the Week Award for the Mariners this season.
Miller's best day came on Friday, when he hit his first two career home runs and collected five RBIs. His parents watched from the stands, having made the trip from Orlando, Fla., to see him take on the Astros.
"It was awesome, that's one of the closest spots for them from home," Miller said. "Just getting to share that with them after the game, getting to give them the home run balls after the game was pretty cool."
The 23-year-old has had an immediate impact on the Mariners, and it's no coincidence that the team's recent offensive surge overlaps with the decision to call up the young shortstop. Since making his debut on June 28, Miller has hit .270 with an .830 OPS while playing well defensively. His hot hitting has helped Seattle score 6.4 runs per game in July entering Monday's game, the best in the Majors.
"You know what, he's done a heck of a job since he's been up here," manager Eric Wedge said. "He's been very consistent, he provides energy, has some sock in his bat, moves around well both defensively and on the basepaths. Again, just the person that he is and the maturity he has for such a young man, I think that sticks out as much as anything."
Miller has reached base safely in 14 of his first 19 games, and he's scored 12 times for the Mariners. The left-handed hitter is batting .309 with a .377 on-base percentage in 15 games played at shortstop. Miller has played 13 games as Seattle's leadoff man and is batting .296 in those games.
Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for MLB.com.