Righthanded Hitting, Righthanded Throwing Second Baseman
Seasons With Braves: 1966-1972
Stats With Braves: .281/.319/.349, 14 HR, 221 RBI, 391 RS
Millan was signed by the A’s in 1964 but drafted away by the Braves at the end of that season. By June of 1966 he was in the big leagues; he made it for good in 1968, at the age of 24. (Assuming that his listed age is correct.) From 1969-71 he made the All-Star team every year. In 1969 and 1972 he won the Gold Glove. And he hit well in the NLCS in 1969.
It’s hard to say much about Millan, not just because he was before my time but because his seasons are pretty much like each other. Except for a slump in 1972, he was pretty consistent. He hit for a high average (.310 in his best year, 1970, more normally around .280, but always better than the league) but he didn’t walk a whole lot and had almost no power — even for a second baseman. His secondary averages are very low, .136 for his Braves career — the league’s was .234 and the position average .172, and remember he was getting a lot of help from his park. 10 of the 14 homers he hit as a Brave were at home. Because of his high batting averages, he was a above-average offensive second baseman, but less so than the batting-average centric analysis of his career believed.
Millan hit high in the order, producing a lot of outs (leading the league in 1969) and a lot of double plays as well (he finished in the top ten twice as a Brave). He was a very good second baseman, a two-time gold glove winner as I say above. James rates him a B- at the position, but that includes his Mets career. Call him B+. He was a good player, just not one who should have been an All-Star… The baseball card picture is interesting because he used the same pose in several images, even in one for senior league ball. I don’t know if he actually choked up on the bat that much.
After 1972 Millan was traded to the Mets, where he played just about the same as he did in Atlanta. In 1977 he got into a fight with Ed Ott, who broke Millan’s collarbone, ending his career. Felix then went to Japan and played there for several seasons.
I’m going to withhold discussion of why he ranks here for the time being, for reasons that should become apparent soon.