Last year, Brad Miller hit 20 homers and stole 11 bases while hitting over .300. Right now, you’re thinking how is this guy even a sleeper? He should be a top five guy at shortstop. I know what you’re thinking because I’m sitting in your head. Sorry about that whole spilling my Jamba Juice on your medulla oblongata. My bad! There’s one little problem with that 20 homers, 11 steals, .300+ average stat line. That’s adding together his minor and major league numbers. That’s wrong. Or as they say in North Korea, that’s un-Jongy. In 102 games between Triple-A and the majors, Miller had 14 homers and 7 steals. Still not really bad. Unless bad is not bad but bad is good–Scratch that, if bad is good then it’s still not really bad. It’s solid, better than decent — or becent to be more portmanteauy. Fortunately for us, Miller only had 8 homers and 5 steals in the majors. That’s not going to raise too many eyebrows about drafting this guy. Then you throw in that going after a Mariner hitter not named Cano is about as appealing as Carol Channing sans makeup, and people shouldn’t be that crazy excited about Miller, so that makes him a sleeper, but what can we expect of Brad Miller for 2014 fantasy baseball?
His power not only looks like it’ll play in Safeco, but it looks like it can still blossom some more. At 24 years of age, he’s hit for power every step of the way. 11 homers in only 97 games in High-A, 6 homers in only 42 games at Double-A, 6 homers in only 26 games in Triple-A, 8 homers in only 76 games in the majors. Everywhere he’s gone, he’s hitting the ball out of the yard. He’s got Dustin Pedroia-like power. It’s just not as cutesy because he’s not five-six in heels. He also has Pedroia like speed. He’s not going to explode for 25+ steals one of these days, but he can average between 14-17 steals for the next five years. My biggest concern is his walk rate dropped in the majors by a lot from his minor league days (12-ish% to 7.2%). It might not be totally out of the realm of possibility for the M’s to drop Miller to the bottom of the order, which would hurt his counting stats. Wouldn’t be shocked to see him hit a bit all over the place in the lineup with the majority of his at-bats coming from the leadoff spot. So, you’re looking at a guy that could go 17/17 with a .280 average, but more likely you’ll see 69/14/62/.272/13. At your middle infield spot that’s not un-Jongy.