Who knows where Brad Miller ranks among the top 25 Young Players In Baseball, or whether he does. BJOL doesn't post the stats. But the Logo is sure doin' good by Mariner standards.
He's now played exactly 300 games in the majors, and scored 5.5 WAR with them. In other words, he has been a 3-WAR player in his first two years, and his arc is pointing up. His batted-ball distance on fly balls is up 22 feet (!) from last year, as any Fangraphs uber-writer could tell you, but he's hitting in a certain amount of bad luck.
Actually at the end of June, he was tracking #26 in the American League for fly ball distance. This improvement in distance follows a winter in which he put on 15+ pounds. You didn't need stats to tell you that the ball jumps off his bat, but as of today Miller is still tracking #58 in both leagues for fly ball distance. The shortstops ahead of him are --- Troy Tulowitzki.
Even cooler, Miller's fly ball launch angle is -2 degrees. Tulowitzki's launch angle is also -2 degrees. Other hitters with that launch angle are Scott Van Slyke, Nelson Cruz (-1), Adam Jones, Adrian Gonzalez (-4), J.D. Martinez (-4), and Mike Stanton (-3).
He isn't tracking to be a Hall of Famer, but it doesn't look to me like Brad Miller is done growing, does it you? He is already one of our five good players -- the stars, and Seth Smith, and him. Time to put him at shortstop, or center field, and leave him in there already.
Dr. D is not Ketel Marte's biggest supporter, that's for sure. His question is what, exactly, Marte will add to a 90% contact rate. But he was a quite decent player in AAA at ages 20-21. Given his template, you can figure on him to have a major league career. A late bloomer, he's not.
Jesus Montero's career has been interrupted and camouflaged. But then, so was Josh Hamilton's, and Hamilton's years in the weeds didn't take anything away from the fun of his 37 straight upper-deck shots at that one All-Star game. As M's fans, let's not forget that he was a cleanup hitter in AAA at the age of 20.
As an Albert Pujols comp, Montero has always seemed lacking in the pure PWR department. But the man can cover a baseball, has a tremendous HIT tool for a big guy, and his power is fine if you want to compare him to ordinary mortals.
The other day, some Rockie or other fired a 95-MPH jam pitch to him, first pitch Montero saw that night. It was knee-high, and it was in off the plate. Montero casually swatted it like a mosquito, like a 1-iron, and it rolled all the way to the fence. Nelson Cruz his ownself would have had trouble launching a pitch off his knee. That's a lefthander's wheelhouse; righties like to extend their arms against their diaphragms, out and over.
Anyway, that's one of the things that would be juiciest about a regime change -- a blank slate for Jesus Montero.
James Paxton might or might not show up on an Excel file, using the James BYIP formula strictly. But the math is our servant, not the other way around. Pax is just getting started, has the potential to win a Cy Young award, and has now had most of two (four?) years away from pitching due to this and that cause unrelated to shoulders and elbows. Once he jells, he could rip off 10+ years of 200 glorious innings.
Taijuan Walker, you might or might not have noticed, is doing good for his age. And his baseball age is younger than his life age. You would think that next year, if not this year, Taijuan will show up high on James' objective list for Best Young Players In Baseball.