Question Time: Is Brad Miller "Kyle Seager 2.0"?

A: Actually, they're almost TOO similar


A bit late, but another "Question Time."  Back on April 23, Jon W. asked for  comparison of Kyle Seager and Brad Miller: "are they as similar as they seem?"

And the answer is: yes, you have zeroed right on it.  In fact, their minor-league numbers are so similar it's like they planned it that way.

So let's take a look!

Both guys were drafted out of the ACC where both had solid careers.  Seager signed more quickly after the draft, and so had more playing time in his post-college, age-21 season.  On the surface, Miller's 14-game cameo looks more impressive than Seager's 44-game introduction.


Seager 2009 44 186 161 42 8 0 1 22 21 .261 .344 .329 .673
Miller 2011 14 59 53 22 4 1 0 4 9 .415 .458 .528 .986


When you go to our "Spectometer" stats, however, it is Seager who looks better.

[As always, the more colored boxes, the better, and you want the "Three Numbers" at the end to be over 100.]

It turns out that most of Miller's OPS was generated by singles, which our analysis treats as a more-or-less "neutral" event.  Seager gets credit for his very-high walk rate, and very low strikeout rate, giving him a strong "Plate Skills Index."  Miller doesn't get that, but, with just 59 PAs, you can't really conclude anything from his age-21 season.


Benchmark .043 .085 .190 .200 .200 .300 +1.50 100 100 100
Seager 2009 .005 .118 .167 .068 .113 .395 +3.07 116 80 96
Miller 2011 .000 .068 .153 .113 .153 .379 -1.10 74 85 59


When we move to their age-22 seasons, things start to look kind of eerie.


Seager 2010 135 643 557 192 40 3 14 71 94 .345 .419 .503 .921
Miller 2012 137 643 557 186 40 7 15 74 105 .334 .410 .512 .922


Freakishly, they had the exact same number of plate appearances, the exact same number of at-bats, the exact same number of doubles (40!), and their OPS was within one point of each other.

The main difference was that Miller got promoted and played 40 games at Jackson, while Seager was in High Desert for the entire year.  Miller had a few more triples and struck out just a bit more.  But, my goodness, you really couldn't find two more similar hitting lines if you tried to orchestrate it.

So let's go to the "Spectometer" stats.


Benchmark .043 .085 .190 .200 .200 .300 +1.50 100 100 100
Seager 2010 .022 .110 .199 .158 .146 .317 +3.22 117 104 121
Miller 2012 .023 .115 .212 .178 .163 .298 +3.30 118 110 128


This time, the additional analysis yields the same conclusion.  Miller's extra triples gave him a bit of an ISO advantage, which shows up in the "Production Index," but, outside of that, Miller's 2012 rates as more-or-less an exact copy of Seager's 2010.

Both produced a bunch of extra-base hits and walks (which is what we look for), both had an ISO higher than their K% (what I call "Vlad-itude"), and both showed a strong likelihood of generating a high OBP in light of their Plate Skills: either drawing walks or hitting the ball hard and avoiding strikeouts.

Moving on, then, to age-23 seasons, which, for Seager, was the year he got called up, and, for Miller, is this year.


Seager 2011 90 416 372 124 33 3 7 37 50 .333 .399 .495 .894
Miller 2013 24 101 90 25 4 1 4 10 21 .278 .356 .478 .834


And the "Spectometer" table:


Benchmark .043 .085 .190 .200 .200 .300 +1.50 100 100 100
Seager 2011 .017 .089 .192 .162 .120 .296 +2.57 111 110 121
Miller 2013 .040 .099 .188 .200 .208 .319 -0.01 100 103 103


What we saw from Seager in that year was a continuation of his success as a guy capable of hitting the ball with authority without striking out a lot, and that was writing his ticket to the majors.

For Miller, there is a bit of change.  His HR% is up (thus also bumping up his ISO), but his K% has gone up with it.  It's too soon to tell if that is a change in approach or just noise.  Either way, Miller's numbers are still showing as someone capable of holding his own at the plate in the majors, even if not a middle infielder (which, of course, he is).

All of which doesn't mean that Miller would step in and have Seager's immediate success.  Dustin Ackley had even better numbers at higher levels (but let's hope he's finally figuring it out: 13 hits in his last 10 games).

But clearly Miller has similar kinds of indicators of MLB success, particularly for a shortstop.




Seager 09: 4 SB, 2 CS

Miller 11: 1 SB, 0 CS


Seager 10: 13 SB, 12 CS

Miller 12: 23 SB, 7 CS


Seager 11: 11 SB, 6 CS

Miller 13: 3 SB, 1 CS


So Miller is definitely more accomplished on the basepaths than Seager.  And, obviously, plays primarily shortstop.



Dr D's picture

Dr D

"Miller is a lot like Kyle Seager, but actually ahead of where he was at the same point."

He brought up the comp at his own initiative during a recent TV game. Added something to the effect of Miller having the makeup, to the Nth degree, and it's pretty obvious that Miller is their guy at SS.

What a tremendous article Spec. Eerie stats parallels indeed, and getting the Spectometer lens on it is Frrresh ...


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jemanjiMatt says he's having trouble logging in. I'd ask if anybody else does, but they'd be unable to shout back, right? Maybe DOV The Sequel is the place to answer that ...25 min 15 sec ago
jemanjiOn both of those, I'd need the inside medical info … know any physical trainers who could comment?26 min ago
Gordon GrossWondering if anybody wants to take a shot on Medlen or Ogando for that #5 slot that could push Elias back to AAA/long relief as insurance or playoff-stretch planning.3 hours 12 min ago
Gordon GrossJose Campos absolutely destroyed the NWL as an 18 year old. He's never been healthy since, and he's lost a foot or two off his fastball. I expect the Yanks to re-sign him, probably, because even with his injury woes he's still had his control whenever he can get into games. They'll probably convert him to relief, see if he can emerge as a Rafael Soriano type. if they don't want to try that, I'm fine with picking him up and seeing what he's got left. Kid had a tremendous and accurate arm.6 hours 4 min ago
Gordon GrossKinda love that Seager's option year becomes a player option if he's traded (thus making him less likely to be traded) AND would be a drop in price if his performance or heath declines in previous years. He wants to be here for his career. Seager is signing up for a place in the Mariners panthoen. He wants to stay here, not just get paid.6 hours 29 min ago
Tacoma RainAlso worthy of a wry smile - Campos non-tendered by the Yankees. Hard to imagine Hector is the best player from the trade currently.15 hours 9 min ago
moethedogAnd Carlos Rivero, we hardly knew ye.15 hours 23 min ago
moethedogToronto non-tendered Smoak. Dierks, too. He will find a job, I think. He was injured all of last year but he isn't terrible and he had a very nice '12.15 hours 25 min ago
moethedogHeisey isn't Van Slyke. He doesn't hit...and his value is that he can play CF, although he has played it less the last couple of years. He almost seems to be an acquisition before they dump some other OF. If we're trading Ackley for Van Slyke I would be just fine. I think the Dodgers will keep him. I'm not sure what Heisey is about.15 hours 29 min ago
misterjonezThat makes Seager ours for a long, long time. Glad to have him in the fold.15 hours 48 min ago
MtGrizzly@timdierkes: Breakdown on Kyle Seager: 2015: $4MM, '16: $7.5MM, '17: $10.5MM, '18: $18.5MM, '19: $19MM, '20: $19MM, '21: $18MM. '22 option for $15-20MM.17 hours 33 min ago
SABR Mattmerks - there is definitely an argument for Van Slyke...I just wonder whether the Dodgers will ask us for something too good to give up17 hours 54 min ago
SABR MattThey do seem to be in an awful big hurry to replicate the Astros' model for success.17 hours 56 min ago
merksMatt I was thinking that Van Slyke would be the right handed bat to Saunders, Ackley and Lomo. All three of those hitters are prone to slumps. If given some time off with a quality rh hitter to take their place and keep them fresh I could see it helping all three in the long run. If the M's could get a big upgrade in right field then that would be great but if they can't afford another big time contract then I would be pretty happy with Van Slyke.18 hours 1 min ago
Gordon GrossThe Padres are such a weird team. I thought they might non-tender him - trouble with the law, AND steroids, AND injuries AND a terrible 2014 were probably too much for them. And reasons we could still get value for our SS, neither of whom have had problems with any of that (well, Miller had a pretty bad few months in '14). But the Pads seem committed to making sure no talented players remain on their roster, for reasons that are opaque to me.18 hours 25 min ago
SABR MattEverth Cabrera's non-tender causes problems for the Mariners if they expected to get good value for their SS guys. Teams will be saying "why can't I just go sign Cabrera? He's pretty talented you know, and your guys are no more certain than he is to rebound and produce for me," The Mariners should not trade either of their SS duo until Cabrera signs.18 hours 53 min ago
merksTorii Hunter to the Twins. Ok with that.19 hours 5 sec ago
SABR MattDon't think Van Slyke is enough unless we keep Saunders and Taylor+Miller. Can we get Van Slyke without giving up those three?19 hours 3 min ago
merksSo with the Dodgers trading for right handed hitting outfielder Chris Heisey does this free up Van Slyke to be traded? Inquiring minds want to know. Would love to obtain a RF/1st base right handed hitter right about now and Slick would be the man. Get him 350 ab's and call it good.19 hours 5 min ago
SABR MattTHey're worried about his arm AND they are trying not to waste money on a losing season.19 hours 17 min ago