Dodgers Roster: A Closer Look at Infielder Brad Miller

Miller

Smack dab in the middle of the final moments before Bryce Harper signed with the Phillies, the Dodgers were out doing some shopping of their own. Their ultimate haul was 29-year-old journeyman infielder Brad Miller.

No, it wasn’t Andrew Friedman‘s answer to rival GM Matt Klentak’s attempt to separate his squad from the rest of the National League. Rather, it was one of those moves to give Los Angeles a bit of secondary or tertiary depth should an injury epidemic break loose sometime during the 2019 season.

While Miller’s contract is indeed a minor league deal, there wasn’t a need to create space for the Orlando native on the 40-man roster. He will, however, be participating on the big league side of spring camp.

More importantly, if shortstop Corey Seager‘s recovery program does not go according to plan, and if Seager proves to be unavailable for Opening Day, there could be a slight crack for the left-handed hitting Miller to slip through and make the team to start the season.

He isn’t an exceptional fielder by any means, but he’s probably trustworthy enough to provide average service anywhere he plays. During his early days in the bigs, Miller played primarily on the left side of the infield at third and shortstop, but in recent years, he made the majority of his appearances at first and second base. For the Mariners in 2015, he even logged time at all three outfield spots—versatility that Friedman has come to appreciate in recent years.

His banner season came in 2016 when he played 152 games for the Rays. He hit 29 doubles and a whopping 30 long balls, but his .243/.304/.482 slash line translated into a .786 OPS and a 1.6 WAR—not too shabby by any means, but still on the low side for a player who launched 30 home runs. One season later, the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder hit just .201/.337/.664 in 110 games with Tampa.

Last year, he hit .248/.311/.413 with seven homers and 29 RBI in 75 games between the Rays and the Brewers. Milwaukee acquired Miller in a trade with Tampa for utility man Ji-Man Choi in mid-June; however, the Brewers released Miller moments before the 2018 trade deadline in an effort to make room for the newly acquired Mike Moustakas.

Early comparisons portray Miller as a poor man’s Max Muncy, considering his most comfortable positions are probably first and second base. There’s certainly some offensive potential, though, as made evident by Miller’s 3.3 oWAR during his 2016 campaign.

Perhaps the highly-touted skills of new hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc can educate Miller on the science of swing geometry in an effort of reinventing his mechanics at the plate.

 

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24 thoughts on “Dodgers Roster: A Closer Look at Infielder Brad Miller

  1. Another depth move. Those are Ol Andy’s staples. I am sure they are looking at anything and everything that can help them get over the hump. Just do not expect a massive contract.

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  2. Picture this: 2016 and Miller has just circled the bases after his 30th homer. The opposing catcher says, “Nice work Brad, you’re a poor man’s Max Muncy”. That was the year that in a fairly brief stay with the A’s Max hit .186 with a .565 OPS. You just never know how your baseball life (or life in general, for that matter) will develop.

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    1. “You just never know how your baseball life (or life in general, for that matter) will develop.” Just ask Bob Van Scoyoc. Never took an AB beyond college and now he’s the hitting coach for one of the most acclaimed clubs in the MLB.

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      1. I still have no clue what the guy looks like. They have not posted his picture on the web site….maybe he is the invisible man. Another thing that got me was that when Alanna was doing an interview with one of the younger guys, he did not mention working with Ol Bob, only that he was working with Brown, the assistant hitting coach….strange…..

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      2. You would think with all the hype surrounding his hiring that there would be more coming from those he would work with. I have not heard one single player mention his name….it just seems very strange.

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  3. Yimi had another very nice inning today. He has looked VERY good so far. Making a real push to be part of the opening day bullpen.
    Jaime Schultz has also looked good in three outings but is much less likely to make the OD 25-man. I believe he has an option remaining.
    Old friend Paco Rodriguez signs a minor league contract with the Pads. Logan White brings back another one of his draftees. I always liked Paco.

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      1. He was really great for us in 2013 (can’t believe it was that long ago), but I don’t think he ever fully recovered from his arm problems. This will only be his age 28 season though, so there’s still time.

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      2. If I remember correctly, Dennis, you are a big Joe Broussard fan. I keep thinking of you when he pitches and hope he pitches well. He has not looked good thus far in ST, and he especially looked overmatched today. I still pull for him, but it looks like he is getting passed by.

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    1. I kinda think they’d go with Rios or Beaty first, especially since they’re both on the 4o-man. However, if for a strange reason there’s a need at second or short, then it would probably be Miller. Potentially a mess if they’d need to make a spot on the 40-man.

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      1. Does anyone know if Miller has an opt out if he isn’t in the majors by a certain date? He spent the majority of the year last year in the majors. I find it strange that he would sign with the Dodgers where the depth makes it harder to make the 40-man than with almost any other team.

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      2. Considering he was released at last year’s deadline and not picked up by anyone at all until now, maybe he feels fortunate just to have a minors deal. We’ll see how things play out, but Miller may never get a chance if most of the infielders stay healthy.

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      3. They will have a roster spot soon because Toles is still no where to be seen, and there is no way they will let that drag into the season.

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      4. Hey Scoop… I can’t quite remember when you said your March birthday was. If I missed it, happy belated birthday. If it’s yet to come, happy birthday in advance. Hoping it will be a good year for us Dodgers fans.

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