Brad Miller and Chris Taylor are together again
Some players just can’t get away from each other, Brad Miller and Chris Taylor might be an example of this. The Dodgers just inked Brad Miller to a minor league contract and he’ll make a nice insurance policy if anyone of the Dodger infielders such as Max Muncy / Corey Seager / Chris Taylor / Enrique Hernandez gets hurt.
Both players were drafted as shortstops by Seattle, Brad Miller was drafted in 2011 in the second round and Chris Taylor was drafted in the fifth round in 2012. In 2013 they both played for the Jackson Generals, and one year later they were in Seattle both vying for the job of future shortstop for the Mariners. Chris Taylor started forty games at SS for the Mariners in 2014, and Brad Miller started 105 games. In 2015 Taylor only started twenty-five at SS, while Brad Miller started eighty-three games. At the end of the year, it seemed clear that that the Mariners preferred Brad Miller as their shortstop but that was not a correct assumption. On Nov 5th, 2016 the Mariners traded Brad Miller to the Tampa Bay Rays. This seemed to clear the way for Chris Taylor to be the starting shortstop but he lost the job in spring training to the even younger Ketel Marte and was traded away for peanuts to the Dodgers. That trade is now considered one of the steals of the second decade of the 21st century in major league baseball.
In three years as a Dodger, Chris Taylor has distinguished himself as one of the great utility players in Dodger history, filling in at SS, 2nd, RF, CF, and LF. Brad Miller went to Tampa Bay and slugged thirty home runs, with nineteen coming as a shortstop. Brad got 601 plate appearances in 2016 but that was his high water mark. In 2017 those plate appearances fell to 400 and he didn’t start one game at shortstop. Most of his starts in 2017 came at 2nd base. Moving further down the defensive spectrum in 2018 he started at 1st base for the majority of his starts. He still found some games at 2nd and a precious few at shortstop.
Like most left-handed hitters, Brad Miller can’t hit left-hand pitching with a career OPS split of .755 against RHP and .619 against LHP. The state of baseball is that an infielder who is only two years removed from slugging thirty home runs and putting up a solid OPS+ of 113, while still being under thirty years old could only manage a minor league deal in the spring of 2019.
Only time will tell if Brad Miller and Chris Taylor are on a major league roster once again but the two players who were once the heir apparent of the Seattle Mariner Shortstop gig can both be happy they are on the Dodgers instead of that merry go round going on in Seattle.