2009 Player Previews - Aaron Miles
You know what? I'd really like to see Aaron Miles on the bench during the 2009 season.
But seriously, folks, Miles isn't terribly good. He puts up a decent average (.289 for his career and .317 last year), but he's sort of a bit lacking in patience and power. He's averaged fewer than 30 walks a year, has a career OBP under .330, and has never managed more than a half dozen homers in a season. Miles, in short, is Jose Vizcaino without the wicked shades.
Over the last 5 years, Miles has posted OPS+'s of 72, 65, 74, 76, and 99. For the uninitiated, that includes zero years of league average baseball and a baseline right in line with a replacement player. He's what Ryan Theriot would be if he had peaked in 2007. Furthermore, the most similar batter for Miles according to Baseball Reference - among those who I've actually heard of - is Craig Counsel (and yes, I've heard of Jeff Treadway, but that's a terrible comp). The most similar batter for Mike Fontenot? No one. He's so damn good that there is not comparison.
Although if I had to pick one, it'd be Babe Ruth.
Well, maybe not quite Babe Ruth. Maybe Ruth's left thigh.
Or a buttock. Either buttock.
Miles? There is not one part of Babe Ruth that couldn't outhit Miles, and that includes his spleen. Yes, that's right, I said it. Babe Ruth's spleen could outhit Miles.
The important thing to remember in all this is that Lou's not an idiot. He knows that Miles is a backup and that Fontenot has the potential to be a huge contributor. Sure, Miles will get most starts again lefties (despite the fact that Fontenot was excellent against lefties in limited action last season), but that's cool. Miles will also likely get a few starts at short against righties and a little action at third.
I'm going to approach the middle infield of Miles/Fontenot/Theriot as a single unit. A three headed monster, if you will. But Fontenot will be the big head. The scary dragon head. Theriot's the slap hitting snake head who steals sloppily. And Miles? He's the shrunken head.