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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moethedogOne Cardinals' site giggles over the acquisition of Ty Kelly. Sigh: http://www.stlcardinalbaseball.com/a-redesigned-offense BTW, unless you guys figure than James Jones is on the opening day roster or that Bloomie gets the role, we still need a 4th OF who Mac will be willing to use in CF. That was certainly not true with Ackley or Saunders, and one of those guys will be gone. Kemp would do, not so Upton. Ethier has had nearly 120 CF starts over the last two years, BTW. Brad Miller, given the opportunity, would could handle CF, too. Kivlehan will get some early Tacoma CF time...but we need one for Seattle. Perhaps we keep Saunders and he goes there. Not Jones, please. I've soured....52 min 15 sec ago
Bat571And, as I noted in another shout, a deal for Kemp will probably also cost at least 1 bullpen arm; which could mean another chunk off the final amount if it's Wilhelmsen, and a trim if it's Furbush. I'm making the assumption that Erasmo is gone, either to Atlanta in trade or, being out of options, is traded for a propect; that Ackley makes the most sense for the Braves in trade for Gattis; and that Taylor would be an MLB piece in a trade for Kemp. I assume any remaining pieces will be prospects (Guerrero, Morban, Choi), even if Terdoslavich would come with Gattis.14 hours 31 min ago
Bat571Just using the TNT tool -- http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/11/04/3467689/seattle-mariners-2015-free-agent.html -- and adding Gattis ($0.5M - using another FA as proxy), Kemp ($16M - using another FA as proxy), Young ($7M), and HanRam ($22M), and then manually subtracting Ackley, Taylor, and Erasmo ($3.8M total) gives ~$137M. Take HanRam's $22M out and that gives ~$115M, which is $8M more than the $107M. The TNT tool uses the $5M figure for Seager and the $7M figure for Iwakuma. Given the offers for Martin and VMart, I think there's more than $8M in headroom, in any case.14 hours 44 min ago
SABR Mattnot sure where you get 8 mil, Bat...Gattis is cheap but Kemp at 16 mil, Young at 5-6 mil, Iwakuma at 7 mil, Seager at 5 mil...did you factor those in? I get roughly 14 mil up from 107 if we add just Kemp/Gattis.15 hours 8 min ago
Bat571And after Mather promised substantial budget increases, $8M wouldn't be substantial in my mind.15 hours 51 min ago
Bat571Well, If The Ms got Kemp and Gattis and re-signed Young, it'd be a dandy off-season, for sure. But it's Christmastime and I've always got to hope Santa's bringing me that new Volvo XC-90 with the 450HP hybrid drive train that gets 34mpg, even while I'm still driving my 2003 Honda Pilot!16 hours 1 min ago
moethedogToo many moving parts, Bat. Hope for one big guy....or Gattis plus16 hours 14 min ago
Bat571If Wilhelmsen went in trade for Kemp, that takes another $2.1M off, Furbush $1.0M, Medina $0.5M. In any case, I really believe it's doable. And if Chris Young would sign to smooth innings, I continue to think rotating Elias, Walker, and Paxton to Tacoma for 10+ day stints of 4-5 inning starts to keep their totals down would be workable. Then Young could skip starts in places like Texas as well. BOAPW! (apologies to Prof. Pangloss and Voltaire).16 hours 33 min ago
Bat571$30M increase, not $20M - typo.16 hours 42 min ago
Bat571I put the numbers in the TNT payroll tool (since it doesn't do trades, I used a Chone Figgins FA signing @ $16M as a proxy for Kemp - I know, SICK!). With HanRam @ $22M, Kemp @ $16M, and Chris Young @ $7M, it totals to $141.1M. Subtract Ackley, Taylor, and Erasmo, and it looks like ~$137M - a $20M increase over the $107M end number last year that Mather implied was the starting point for increases.16 hours 44 min ago
SABR Mattif we could get the Dodgers to front-load their subsidy...pay us like 15 mil in 2015, 12 mil in 2016 and 8 mil in 2017 and then off the hook thereafter...we could ease the transition, from a payroll perspective...soften the blow to the finances on the front side.17 hours 2 min ago
moethedogLA will have a RH bat in the pipeline, perhaps Hanley, if they are really trading Kemp. Matt is right. We get only one big ticket guy. That's it.17 hours 3 min ago
SABR MattI hope you're right Bat...because a rational analysis of the team at this point says it's stupid not to spend big and win now...Cano and Felix in their primes for only so long...kids maturing and just got valuable play-off race experience, attendance tentatively rising...if you were ever going to fight hard...this would be the time.17 hours 5 min ago
Bat571Gattis is still pre-arb, so his price is the trade cost (Ackley?), but little initially to the payroll. If Kemp came at a payroll cost of $16M (~2/3-1/3 split), and HanRam comes in at the MLBTR prediction of $22M (AAV), that's a $38M add. From where they're at now, that looks like <$140M - but they would still have another signing (Chris Young) and extensions to Seager and Iwakuma to add to that, if it worked out like I'd like.17 hours 5 min ago
Bat571It would depend on how much subsidy the Ms could get with Kemp, but the amount they bid on VMart and Martin makes me believe they may be willing to go near $140M at least -- they seem to understand the amount spent on Cano and Felix will be wasted unless they go for it starting now. And that would be enough.17 hours 17 min ago
Bat571And a bench of Saunders (OF); Terdoslavich (1B/3B/COF); Bloomquist (IF/OF); and Sucre (C) - with Bloomquist and Sucre ceding to Kivlehan and Hicks by the AS Break.17 hours 22 min ago
SABR MattGetting both Ramirez and Kemp is not possible...unless the Mariners suddenly decide they want to spend 150 million on payroll.17 hours 26 min ago
Bat571Meanwhile, we can dream of a Jackson-HanRam-Cano-Kemp-Seager-Gattis-Morrison-Zunino-Miller lineup laying waste to the AL.17 hours 34 min ago
Bat571Yes, Moe - like they've realized they will have problems if they move Kemp from RF that might outweigh the loss of the RH bat. Would they turn around and trade for a cheaper, younger guy? Sign Rios? Dunno - but somebody ought to keep whispering "2016 - Guerrero-Pederson-Puig" in the ears down there! And "Taylor and Gordon stealing 40 bases apiece and turning DPs nightly" as well!17 hours 37 min ago
Bat571And I still think Terdoslavich is just where Scott Van Slyke was a year or so ago - getting old for a prospect, blocked at his best position, able to play other positions adequately, good MiLB numbers that translate to MLB effectiveness, and ready to put the hurt on pitchers if he can get a chance. The injuries to Kemp, Ethier, and Crawford gave SVS his chance. I'd really like to see Terdoslavich get a chance in Seattle while Kivlehan and DJ get their ABs in Tacoma. And Morrison has not been durable - do we really want to try Montero there as a starter if Morrison goes down?17 hours 46 min ago