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.

 

  G PA AB H 2b 3b HR BB K BA OBP SLG OPS
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.

 

  HR/PA BB/PA XBH+BB/PA ISO K/PA PI +/- PSI Prod Comp
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.

 

  G PA AB H 2b 3b HR BB K BA OBP SLG OPS
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.

 

  HR/PA BB/PA XBH+BB/PA ISO K/PA PI +/- PSI Prod Comp
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.

 

  G PA AB H 2b 3b HR BB K BA OBP SLG OPS
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:

 

  HR/PA BB/PA XBH+BB/PA ISO K/PA PI +/- PSI Prod Comp
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.

 

Comments

Steals:

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.

 

1

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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Gordon GrossI stopped watching this game in the 8th - soooo glad I did.1 hour 35 min ago
Bat571Felix might be arrested for murder of Rodney and Miller, but any jury would consider it justifiable.2 hours 20 min ago
SABR Matttomorrow's headlines - Felix hits DL with dead arm, Iwakuma's rehab goes horribly wrong when he trips in the weight room and breaks his arm, Roenis Elias is kidnapped by Cuban Nationals and brought back to the island for questioning. Justin Smoak swings too hard in BP and herniates a disc in his back and Robinson Cano is so unbelievably calm and cool about everything that he forgets where he is and is pelted by a 98 mph fastball in tomorrow's game.2 hours 33 min ago
Tacoma RainSo Sanchez is now on the DL as well... What is going on with our pitchers... Is it our coaching staff???2 hours 54 min ago
MtGrizzly@RyanDivish: Felix said he and McClendon had been discussing his fatigue level going into the eighth. Admitted he was tiring.3 hours 19 min ago
rick82So, if we had Brendan Ryan, we win. Ouch3 hours 39 min ago
SABR MattMiller should ride the pine tomorrow. I hate this game.3 hours 49 min ago
OBFBrad miller gave that away in the 9th.... 2 errors and a free run :(3 hours 55 min ago
OBFBrad NEEDS a day off!!!3 hours 56 min ago
moethedogLoMo wouldn't really be the guy in the way, Spec. Mostly it is Smoak and Hart, since there is some desire to play them a bunch. Franklin has established his value with the glove already. His real value, trade-wise anyway, will be established with the bat. Morrison was a very cheap acquire, an upside with almost no cost. If you turned down a Capps for Morrison trade you would be silly. But he's mostly a hybrid-OBP type of guy, not a masher. More than anybody else we have, I'm done with Saunders. If he can't be a CF, then he doesn't bring much. He OPS'ed .751 vR last year, at that rate he's a marginal platoon guy. If we were willing to let Ackley play CF 25 times a year, there would really be no need for Saunders.5 hours 5 min ago
SpectatorFranklin and LoMo was not a fit. Franklin instead of LoMo is a fit. They probably wouldn't have acquired LoMo if they knew they'd get Cano. Nick is a waste as DH-RF-utility, but it's better than the alternative. Not sure what they do with LoMo when he gets healthy though.5 hours 23 min ago
SpectatorRE: Victor Sanchez. They don't always say with minor league injuries and sometimes they just use "imaginary" injuries to open a roster spot. The Jackson blog still lists Sanchez as slated to start Friday, so obviously something changed. If I can find anything out, I'll let folks know.5 hours 31 min ago
moethedogTriple........6 hours 10 min ago
mojicianLet us take a moment of silence for the hated Angels. In addition to the Arson Squad blowing two leads to the Orcs two nights in a row, rising young star and leadoff man Cole Calhoun just twisted his ankle and is out 4-6 weeks per mlbtraderumors. Feel bad for such a promising and talented team and hope the Mariners never suffer a similar fate. . . . . . . . .. . .. . . .Okay, I'm over it.6 hours 28 min ago
SABR Mattwell that is way...way better than I feared for Walker. Unless it's impinged because of swelling underneath.6 hours 45 min ago
rick82Bob Dutton reports its Walker's shoulder Z is talking about.6 hours 50 min ago
JDDubA start for JJ in center would be fun! I have nothing against Almonte. Looks like he's run into a bit of bad luck. Hitting the ball hard every time I turn the tv on. Enough AB's to go around for everyone until somebody grabs hold of a position.7 hours 1 min ago
moethedogLooks like he's just up until Sunday, when we will need another starter. Bet'cha he's up to get a start in CF, though.7 hours 17 min ago
JDDubYes JJ! Love it! Love that guy!7 hours 36 min ago
moethedogWell, if Franklin and Jones replace the DL'ed Beavan and Morrison that still leaves us a move to make: We're a pitcher short and an OF over the limit. Almonte back to Tacoma? Possible. Good ness knows he's not lit anything on fire this year (and he shouldn't be leading off). But it is still early. Saunders swapped out in trade? Possible. Romero demoted? Less likely, I think, as he brings a RH bat. Jones has played 9 games in CF and 2 in RF for Tacoma: A hint? Interesting stuff.7 hours 37 min ago