One of the more disappointing players in the major leagues this year is Seattle Mariners infielder Brad Miller, currently hitting .205/.281/.342 in 364 plate appearances. He hit really well in June (.298/.355/.512) but has otherwise been very weak with the bat the entire season, with only flashes of the hitting ability he showed in the minor leagues and in his first look at big league pitching last year.
Interestingly enough, his defense (which has been questioned in the past) has been solid, at least according to WAR with a Def of 6.0 currently. That's been enough to keep his WAR value at 1.00 despite the very disappointing offensive performance.
I was one of Miller's top supporters heading into 2013 and was obviously pleased with his freshman season. Of course, now the questions are different: what's wrong with Miller? Will he come around? Do the Mariners somehow screw up all their young hitters? etc.
The honest answer is that I don't know. I haven't watched enough Mariners games to have a read on what has gone wrong here. I don't have time right now to plow through Pitch F/x data or detailed reports, but I want to get everyone thinking about the topic. So today let's crowd-source this and turn it into a community discussion.
Themes to consider:
***Have you seen Miller play often enough to have an opinion? If so, what do YOU think has gone wrong here? Swing problems? Questionable approach? Bad coaching? Bad luck? Loss of confidence? Some or all of the above?
***Whatever the problem is, Is it fixable?
***If you are into Pitch F/X data, what does your analysis tell you?
Have at it!
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