Fantasy Baseball Today

What to do about Brad Miller?

By Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

It's always an interesting process when working on the Fantasy Baseball rankings. Scott White wrote a blog earlier this season about the thought process that goes into the rankings, but just to reiterate, it's more of a big picture outlook than a short-term one, which is why you might see injured players still rated fairly high. Basically the question we are asking ourselves, "Who would we rather own in Fantasy?"

Which leads me to my next point. As I was working on my rankings Thursday I got to the shortstop position and had difficulty dropping Mariners shortstop Brad Miller. I know he's mired in a terrible offensive slump, batting .124 in his last 27 games, but I'm just not ready to give up on him yet.

Honestly, I think my dilemma has more to do with how bad the shortstop position is in Fantasy. I moved Jimmy Rollins and Jhonny Peralta into my top 12 at shortstop, which ultimately bumped Miller from 11 to 13. I know Miller had to move down the rankings because of his poor start, but really the only way I could justify it was moving two players in front of him who I think could be borderline starters all season.

We all saw what Miller did last season, what he did this spring and what he did in the minors. The potential is there and I really think he's reached the bottom. To me there is more upside than downside, which is why I don't want to push him way down the rankings.

Miller's problem right now is that he's chasing a lot of pitches outside the strike zone. He is swinging at 40.1 percent of pitches outside the strike zone, which is well above the league average of 29.2 percent, per FanGraphs.com. His BABIP is also .193, which is well below the league average of .298.

Miller just needs to stop chasing pitches and make more contact, and the hits should start to fall. He had a career .409 on-base percentage in the minors, so he's better than what he's showing.

The Mariners seem to be losing patience with Miller, but continue to stick with him for the time being. However, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if they demote him to the minors like they did with Dustin Ackley last season or how the Cardinals handled Kolten Wong this season. But if that happens, much like Ackley and Wong, it probably won't be a prolonged demotion. The Mariners would just want Miller to iron out his mechanics and get his confidence up. At that point, I would reassess my rankings, but for now I still have faith in Miller turning it around.

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