He has, finally, drawn some walks (four in five games), and his stats are that much worse since he has been brutalized on BABIP (.173 for his last 17 games).
But it’s not just a matter of bad luck. Since he homered on April 11, Miller has exactly two extra-base hits, both doubles. That’s an ISO of .030.
And his strikeout rate is an ug-leeee 29%.
So he’s swinging like a slugger and hitting like a singles hitter. Except without the singles.
We’ve seen the “trying-too-hard” meets “BABIP-snowball-effect” before, and a dose of AAA may be necessary to address it. Giving him days off and batting him 8th or 9th has helped a bit, and a change in BABIP fortune would help as well, but Miller’s problems are bigger than that. And it’s not like there aren’t other shortstops around.
Baseball America has a feature on likely international signees, and the biggest bonus supposedly will go to Brayan Hernandez, a 16-year-old Venezuelan.
And the Mariners are supposed front-runners.
The BA article is behind a paywall, but I was able to find this article, which via Google Translate is sort-of in English here. It also has an embedded batting-practice video.
Switch-hitter, very fast, “five tools.”
The quote compares him to Yorman Rodriguez, a Reds prospect who is at AA at 20, but who strikes out a lot and hasn’t shown much power yet (.399 career SLG). We’ve seen that before.
And, like M’s prospect Gabriel Guerrero, he has an uncle in pro baseball. Except that while Gaby’s uncle is near-Hall of Famer Vlad, Hernandez’ uncle is …
failed Mariner prospect Francisco Martinez, now back with Detroit.
Proceed with caution.
BA also has a new mock draft.
As expected, college righty Jeff Hoffman falls out of the top five after news of his planned Tommy John surgery (to No. 11). But they project that California prep hitter Alex Jackson (considered by many a consensus “top 5” talent) to drop to Seattle at No. 6 anyway.
Seems to me that Hoffman’s fall makes that unlikely, but I, for one, would be happy with him.
BA has two other college pitchers falling — Aaron Nola and Tyler Beede — and “possible-next-Taijuan-Walker” Touki Toussaint rising to No. 13. Would Toussaint rise all the way to No. 6?
Well, he’s likely to be there if the M’s want him.