Aaron Miles began his career in the Houston Astros' organization, getting drafted way back in 1995, two spots after the Dodgers took David Ross in the 19th round. He spent six years in the minors before getting drafted by the White Sox in the Triple A phase of the 2000 Rule 5 draft. He spent three more years in the minors in the Sox' organization before finally getting his cup of coffee in the majors, and Miles hit three doubles and a single in 12 at-bats in September 2003. However, the White Sox were looking to upgrade their middle infield that offseason so they dealt Miles to Colorado...for Juan Uribe.
Miles was a semi-regular for the next five seasons with both the Rockies and Cardinals, but in the last two seasons he has been mostly a reserve, one season with the Cubs, then last year back with St. Louis. A reserve role is what Miles is fighting for on the Dodgers, and he just might win a spot, even if his main attribute is simply that he is not Juan Castro. However, there isn't much to Miles' game either. He is a career .282 hitter, but his OPS is just .675. In fact, since 1901 Miles has the emptiest .280+ batting average of anyone with 2,000 or more plate appearances.
|Batters with .280 AVG & under 80 OPS+, 1901-2010|
|Minimum 2,000 PA; Source: Baseball-Reference.com|
In the field, Miles is mostly a second baseman, although he has started 97 games at shortstop (only seven of those in the last two years, however). Defensive grading for Miles seems all over the place. Miles has had negative (i.e. below average) Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) at second base every year before 2010; he has ranged from slightly above average to slightly below average in defensive runs above average from Baseball Info Solutions, and from plus/minus rating from John Dewan as well; total zone rating has Miles at slightly above average.
According to Todd Washburn of the Contra-Costa Times, who revealed such information as Aaron Miles "is a connoisseur of restaurant eating," Miles had an (I'm guessing great) uncle named Dee Miles, who was an outfielder in the American League from 1935-1943.
Miles signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers on February 7. If in the majors, Miles' salary will be $500,000.
|2011 Projections - Age 34 Season|
In the battle for the final bench spot, Miles and Castro seemingly have the edge over Russ Mitchell, Ivan DeJesus and Justin Sellers because of their veteran status. It just seems like that's how this will play out. Miles is younger than Castro, he rarely strikes out (less than 10% of his career PA), has the relatively high batting average, and is thought of as "scrappy." I do think Miles will make the team over Castro, and hit .259/.301/.324 in 107 PA.
What is your guess for Aaron Miles in 2011? Be sure to guess BA/OBP/SLG and PA.