2020 Projection Series - Andrew Miller


Please check out the Projections Primer, to see how I come about getting these projections.


Prior to getting started, I want to take a look at the last three years of Andrew Miller's career and his total career numbers, showing the statistics that I utilize in my projections.

The 2019 season is our most recent sample size and professional sports are often reduced to a "what have you done for me lately" business. Here is his 2019 season (majors only) separated from the rest 1) to highlight it and 2) to more easily come back to it for comparison purposes.


2019

73 games, 54 2/3 innings 4.45 ERA, 5.10 FIP, 1.317 WHIP 11.5 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 2.59 K:BB


This year, I plan to incorporate a couple of (I hope) interesting items to go along with the mean (average) projection. I am going to be adding in "THE GOOD" (an everything goes right)" projection and "THE BAD” (an everything went wrong)" projection prior to giving THE CERUTTI (my actual projection). THE GOOD is basically if a player is 10% better in a few of the listed categories while THE BAD is basically if a player is 10% worse in a few of the listed categories - based on THE CERUTTI projection, which is my 50th percentile-type projection that gets made every year by other projection services like STEAMER or ZiPS.

THE GOOD

(best case)

70 games, 71 innings 3.58 ERA, 3.27 FIP, 1.131 WHIP 13.1 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, 3.26 K:BB


This would be a tremendous improvement back to where Andrew Miller used to be back in his "good ol' days." I'd love to see this return, but frankly, I'm not sure a return to "THE CERUTTI" will even occur.


THE BAD

(worst case)

70 games, 58 2/3 innings 4.33 ERA, 4.42 FIP, 1.368 WHIP 10.8 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 2.69 K:BB


This would be somewhat better than last year, but mostly the same. I don't think we'll see anything this bad again, unless this spring training injury turns out to be something more.


THE CERUTTI

(my system projection)

70 games, 64 2/3 innings 3.94 ERA, 3.84 FIP, 1.244 WHIP 11.9 K/9, 4.0 BB/9, 2.96 K:BB

Note: In between writing this up and now, Andrew Miller has been deemed injured and I reserve the right to drastically drop my games/innings projection on him!


Andrew Miller became a bit of a specialist last season, his first season with the Cardinals. He was brought in to be a big lefty out of the pen that could shut down the 7th or 8th (or even 9th) against both righties and lefties. At a time in which the league has passed rules on LOOGY’s, Miller’s numbers last year really made him look like that could end up being the best course of action for him in the future - although the new rule makes that position basically obsolete. That’s a long way of saying that Miller needs to pitch better in 2020 than he did in either 2019 or 2018.


The thing about Andrew Miller is that he should have been better than he was by the peripherals - if not by much. Miller’s strikeout rate was in the 83rd percentile. That’s really good! And when players made contact against him, their expected wOBA (xwOBACON, I just wanted to spell that out the way Baseball Savant does because it has the word bacon in it) was slightly below league average. If you combine batters being below league average when they hit it and striking out at a fairly alarming rate, then you should get some pretty poor results for the hitters. Miller just...didn’t.

SL (82.4 mph, 2589 rpm), 4sm (92.4 mph, 2085 rpm)

If only Miller could consistently locate like those two stellar pitches!


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