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4/5/1985 (31 y, 10 m, 14 d)
2003 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 12, Overall: 12, Team: New York Mets
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Milledge will start in left field Wednesday against the Royals, the Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales reports. (4/6/2011)
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(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
The former prize of the Mets' farm system was booted out of Washington in June, going to the Pirates in a four-player swap. After rehabbing from a broken finger requiring surgery, Milledge made his Bucs debut on July 31. He hit .291 for Pittsburgh, but that average was empty. He drew few walks and slugged under .400 for his new team. His overall wOBA for the year was just .308, making 2009 the third straight season in which his wOBA dipped. Milledge made little progress in working the count, walking in barely 5% of his PAs and chasing 31% of pitches thrown outside of the strike zone. That jumpy approach led to the outfielder posting a first-pitch strike percentage of 62%. Milledge is hitting more fly balls, but he's doing nothing with them: his HR/FB rate was 5.3%, and his ISO was a feeble .094.
The Year Ahead:
Milledge once had prospect mavens swooning, but he's a broken ball player right now. Turning 25 in April, he still has time to make good on those lofty expectations. But there are few, if any, signs of that occurring. Plate discipline was often an issue with Milledge as he climbed the ladder to the Majors, but he got a pass because he was young for his levels, hit for a good amount of power, and projected to play center field. But in 1,200+ PAs in the big leagues, he has struck out three times as often as he has walked, has hit the ball with the authority of a middle infielder, and has been bumped to an outfield corner. The perpetually rebuilding Pirates are intent on giving Milledge everyday playing time in 2010, so he'll get another chance to fix his game. Approach cautiously: this guy needs wholesale changes. (David Golebiewski)
The Pirates gave Milledge a starting job in 2010, but the former Met and National did little to justify that confidence and he ended the year nursing an oblique injury. Milledge hit .277/.332/.380 with a .314 wOBA. Once again, he showed little patience, chasing pitches off the plate 33.6% of the time (29.3% MLB average) and walking in 6.8% of his plate appearances. And his power... well, what power? Milledge barely cracked triple digits in ISO (.103), hitting grounders about 49% of the time (44% MLB average). Yes, he was once regarded as a top farm talent, but Milledge is now an arbitration-eligible corner outfielder with marginal defensive chops and nonexistent secondary skills. Depending upon what Pittsburgh does with Ryan Doumit, Milledge could enter 2011 still getting the bulk of playing time in right field. However, he could be limited to the short half of a platoon: Milledge has been gobbled up by fellow right-handers in the majors (.261/.313/.377 in over 1,100 PA), but he has a .289/.363/.435 line in 500+ PA versus lefties. (David Golebiewski)
The Quick Opinion:
Milledge has little plate discipline or pop, and he hasn't offered anything in the stolen-base department since 2008. He'll turn 26 in April, so the "he's still young" refrain is getting old -- at best, he's a platoon outfielder.
Unable to get a big league job, Milledge headed over to Japan to ply his trade. He won’t be a fantasy option in 2012 or 2013, but he’ll be just 28 when he’s eligible to return to MLB. Perhaps L-Miilz will yet claim the potential he once had. (Dan Wade)
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Updated: Sunday, February 19, 2017 3:32 AM ET
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