Brad Miller Is Worth Claiming

Unable to stomach Brendan Ryan and his .230 wOBA as the team’s primary shortstop any longer, the Seattle Mariners have reportedly called up 23-year-old Brad Miller in an attempt to breathe some life into a below-average offense that currently ranks 23rd in the league with a .299 wOBA.

His defensive skills remain a question mark, but Miller has always hit throughout his professional career. In 118 plate appearances in Triple-A this year, he’s hitting .350/.424/.570 with five doubles, a triple and five home runs. His ISO is an impressive .220, and he’s already eclipsed the double-digit mark in home runs between Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Tacoma.

His approach at the plate has always been solid, as well. He has posted a walk rate above 11.0% in each of his previous two seasons, and he has never struck out more than 17.1% of the time. That combination of skills should bode well for his batting average and on-base percentage at the big-league level, which makes him a rare shortstop who’s valuable in leagues who have eschewed batting average for OBP.

At this point in the fantasy season, Miller projects to offer intriguing power potential at shortstop and should have no trouble posting above-average rate statistics. Our own Mike Newman noted this spring that Miller has the prototypical skill set to thrive in the two-hole of a batting order. He did steal 23 bases last season; however, I’m not comfortable projecting double-digit stolen bases throughout the remainder of the year. After all, this year, he’s only swiped six bags in 67 minor-league games. In upcoming seasons, though, he could easily threaten double digits.

Miller’s promotion could serve as a light at the end of the tunnel for some fantasy owners, as the shortstop position has experienced a dearth of talent this year. I mean, uninspiring players such as Alexei Ramirez and Elvis Andrus currently rank in the top-ten fantasy shortstops this season, and two of the top producers — Everth Cabrera and Troy Tulowitzki — remain on the disabled list. Few options are worth getting excited about.

So, in a sense, that’s what makes the Brad Miller call-up so interesting for fantasy purposes. He might struggle defensively, but he’s always shown that he can hit — and even hit for a little power, though playing in Safeco Field may slightly subdue the home run totals. A shortstop with those skills at the plate will be a hot commodity in both shallow and deeper leagues.

Considering someone like Jordy Mercer has suddenly become a semi-desirable fantasy shortstop for those owners who are desperate for an upgrade, Brad Miller should be swiped from your league’s waiver wire by the end of the day — if he hasn’t been already. If he’s available, though, and you’re searching for batting average and a modicum of power at shortstop, Miller could be a nice midseason upgrade without having to go through the pains of orchestrating a trade.




Print This Post

J.P. Breen is a graduate student at the University of Chicago. For analysis on the Brewers and fantasy baseball, you can follow him on Twitter (@JP_Breen).


43 Responses to “Brad Miller Is Worth Claiming”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. BalkingHeads says:

    Whatdya say, Miller or Mercer ROS?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Nick says:

    Rollins, Iglesias, or Miller at SS?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Brian says:

    Any thoughts on Miller vs. Rutledge ROS?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. yosoyfiesta says:

    In true Yahoo! fashion, Brad Miller has yet to be added to the player database

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Fedee_ says:

      Why do people still play Yahoo? Can anyone explain to me this? I remember when I was in grade 8 I enjoyed yahoo fantasy baseball leagues but if you’re serious in any way about it then there’s plenty of other better websites I would think

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • pudieron89 says:

        yeah dude, yahoo fantasy baseball is SOOOOOO grade 8. now that we’re in grade 9 we expect better.

        +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Fedee_ says:

        Haha I knew someone would say something like that. Can’t win em all I guess

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Fedee_ says:

        Guy is getting called up today and he’s not in the database. Enough said.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • grip says:

        Yeah I cant believe he’s not in the database yet!!! Gonna ask for my money back

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Crazyperson says:

        I’m not sure but I think Yahoo only includes players on the 40 man for each team. Once a player is added, Yahoo adds them to the database for the next day, and they are placed on waivers. I guess it makes some sense for redrafts because you have to draw the line somewhere so they don’t include literally every minor leaguer.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Fedee_ says:

        Keep getting inferior service guys. I don’t care. See ya

        -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Clifford says:

        Yeah, well ESPN isn’t much better. They’ve failed to have players such as Dan Straily, Gregory Polanco, Henry Urrita, Jose Fernandez, etc.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jeff says:

      I feel ya, still waiting for Bryce Buxton to be added. Embarrassing Yahoo as usual.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Crazyperson says:

        He won’t be until he is added to the 40 man roster I believe. So, not until he is called up. Yahoo shouldn’t be used for keepers, but in redrafts it’s not a big deal.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Rod Allen says:

        You will be waiting even longer for Bryce Buxton…

        +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. RIVER says:

    Miller or Asdrubal or Jhonny ROS?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • J.P. Breen says:

      Goodness. Peralta has gotten unbelievably lucky this season, and it’s masked some underlying problems w/ making contact. Probably would still go with him. I don’t love it, though.

      Not buying a rebound from Cabrera, either. His swinging-strike rate has ballooned and his batting average is suffering because of it. It’s also not allowing him to get to his power.

      I still think Peralta, but again, I don’t love it.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Blue says:

    Drop Alcides Escobar for Miller?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • J.P. Breen says:

      Depends on if you believe Escobar’s batting average will rebound a bit. He’s already been the 11th-best shortstop in his worst season w/ the Royals. If you do, keep him. If you don’t, drop him for Miller.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. pudieron89 says:

    the fangraphs love affair with PCL lines from Seattle Mariner prospects continues

    -8 Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Shibboleth says:

    Do we expect a better RoS compared to Josh Rutledge?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • chri521 says:

      This was my question more or less. Is he going to play more than Rut Rut and is he a better stash?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dolemite says:

      I too have both and am curious about this as well

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mr. Red says:

      This is my dilemma as well.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • J.P. Breen says:

      I see the appeal to Rutledge — and I even drafted him in one league as a bench guy — but I’m just not a huge believer. Also, I much prefer Miller’s approach at the plate.

      The only thing that could potentially convince me to choose Rutledge over Miller is the huge difference in offensive environments between Coors and Safeco.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Brian says:

    I was facing this decision too… I decided to cut bait on Rutledge and take a chance with Miller. Sucks, but Tulo should be back in a couple of weeks.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. MB says:

    Alexei, Miller or Arenado?

    Can shift prado to 3B or SS

    7×7 with obp and slg

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. bdsparty32 says:

    How does he compare to Nick Franklin? Seems like the Mariners could have a pretty solid MI for the foreseeable future…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Bodhizefa says:

    Nice write-up, J.P. Care to offer up a potential projected slash line? I think Kyle Seager is an interesting comp based mostly on his similar scouting reports (no one believed he was for real despite hitting well at every single level) and also rising up the ranks very quickly (Seager played in 3 levels in 2011 just like Miller did this year). Miller looks like he may profile to have a bit more power, but his contact rates likely won’t be as good as Seager’s.

    My 2013 projection for Miller: .265/.325/.400 with 5+ steals. That OPS would place him as 9th overall in MLB among shortstops (which shows you just how deep the black hole goes at the position). Fantasy-wise, that concerns us a little less as guys like Everth Cabrera and Rollins (and others) would make up for their lack of hitting prowess by swiping bases. Still, if Miller taps into the hitting ability he’s shown in the minors, it seems like he could be valuable both to the M’s as well as to fantasy owners.

    Brad Miller — the best prospect you’ve probably never heard of. Well, my guess is that you’re going to start hearing about him an awful lot very soon.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Ron says:

    i’m in 14 team 5×5 roto dynasty league. we all can hold 4 prospects in reserve, so a lot of the top prospects are already spoken for.

    question : is Miller worth giving up my #1 waiver wire pick for?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. JP says:

    5 x 5 deep mixed league… I need a MI. ROS, Forsythe or Miller?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Steve says:

    Depends. I’d platoon Forsythe and play him when there’s a favorable matchup if you can… he’s more proven. Otherwise, I’d go Miller… I don’t believe he has incredible platoon splits in the minors

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *