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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SABR MattPhilly is considered by many in the game to be the dumbest organization, from top to bottom, in all of baseball. Lots of folks heavily criticize their manager for not using his brain, for picking favorites, for ruining quality starts, etc. And of course, we all know what people think of Ruben Amaro.1 hour 40 min ago
moethedogWas checking out the Southern League batting leaders to get an idea of how Kivlehan rates in that league (very well, thank you) and the year that Cubbies farm hand Kris Bryant is having jumps out at you. He's the #2 pick in the draft from '13. Between AA and AAA this year (40% of his PA's at AAA) he's .333-.441-.678 with 34 2B's and 40 HR's. He does K in 27% of his PA's but he walks in 14% of them, too. One scouting report gives his extrodinary power with the most explosive rotation sine Stanton. Plays 3B with a plus arm and quick reactions, so you can add him to Addison Russel + Javier Baez and the Cubs may have a heck of an IF pretty soon.2 hours 5 min ago
moethedogMinor league report: Romero is pretty amazingly hot! In his current 12-game hitting streak he is 26-53 with 4 2B's/2 3B's/4 HR's. In his last 21 games he has had 8 3-hit games and 5 more 2 hit games. His K rate is dropping. AAA #'s for the year: .371-.405-.716.... Nice! And with Blash in AA, Kivlehan played CF last night. Don't you get the idea that the M's are really high on him? Oh, Deej whacks two more homers as Bat pointed out.2 hours 17 min ago
OBFHaving watched Chris Taylor for a while... Brad Miller is not a very good defensive SS... :( Hopefully he refinds his bat...14 hours 27 min ago
OBFHe had looked... uncomfortable... that whole inning, doing more stretches than even usual... :/ Including some weird box squaty things... hopefully just a cramp or something...14 hours 30 min ago
MtGrizzlyI hope Iwakuma didn't hurt anything on that last play14 hours 51 min ago
OBFMean while Detroit storms back from down four to tie it up... :( :( :( come on Rays!15 hours 3 min ago
OBFWhy'd they leave Burnett in so long? He did a nice job getting them into the 8th only giving up 3 runs, but then they made him pitch the eighth (or most of it ) while already over 100 pitches (ended at 125) and he gave up two more runs, which against tonight's Kuma seems like an insurmountable lead... I am not complaining... just wonderin' ;)15 hours 4 min ago
OBFWhat's with all the steals tonight?15 hours 17 min ago
Bat571Tyler O'Neill with another HR tonight. Talk about doing penance - that's 3 this week and 7 since returning.15 hours 18 min ago
OBFKuma is just MOWIN' em down tonight! 10 k's now... Also Zunino needs some sort of award... I have lost track of how many borderline or plain old balls that he has gotten called strikes on tonight...15 hours 22 min ago
Bat571Blash with a HR, Deej with 2 HRs, Kivlehan 2-4, Lara 1-3. Brewers former #1 pick Jed Bradley lasted 3.2 IP. Again, that lineup must be fun to face....not!15 hours 53 min ago
merksJim Callis @jimcallisMLB · 6h New @MLBPipeline Perspective: Who's baseball's best corner OF prospect? I say it's Alex Jackson. http://atmlb.com/VDIGCU @Mariners Which is nice. Also DJ Peterson with 2 HR's tonight giving him a total of 28 on the year.16 hours 30 min ago
OBFGlad to see Ackley proving his little mini slump was just that... mini :) single and 2 doubles yesterday a walk (SB and run) and a double already today :)16 hours 41 min ago
Bat571Wouldn't surprise me to see the M's DFA Bawcom and Leutge as soon as the post-season roster line passes - they won't be as valuable to teams who can't use them in the post-season, but, who knows, relievers are always in-season.17 hours 42 min ago
Bat571Absolutely right, TR. The 2011 draft signees not on the 40-man are the main part of the Rule 5 draft pool this year if they were >19 at the time of signing. Hicks is part of that class, as is CSmith and Paolini. Marlette was <19, so he has 1 more year. Of the 2010 draft <19s, Littlewood and Landazuri are in there. Kelly was a 2009 draftee who will need to be protected, as well, while Blash slipped through last year as a 2010 pick. The IFAs I'm more fuzzy about - but those signed in 2010 would be the cadre. As to who drops off at the end of the season, I count Hart, Morales, Denorfia, Chavez, Beimel and Young as guys who don't have 2015 contracts - though some of those guys will likely re-sign as soon as the R5 draft is over. But to me, Hicks and Kelly seem like automatics for the September run, as they fill positions of need right now.17 hours 46 min ago
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Bat571And then what does Logan Bawcom look to contribute to the M's future? There's another 40-man spot.18 hours 11 min ago
SABR MattBloomquist will get 60-dayed for sure. After which they can promote Hicks if they want. Not sure about the rules for 60-day DL stints for minor leaguers after September 1st.18 hours 12 min ago