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Who will win Mariners shortstop battle?

Will it be Chris Taylor or Brad Miller?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball actually begins this week (finally), as Wednesday marks the first proper game of the season, a charity game against the M's bitter Peoria rivals, the San Diego Padres. There's a multitude of stories already pouring out of spring training, which will primarily focus on on the battle for the #5 spot in the rotation and the shortstop competition between Brad Miller and Chris Taylor.

It's not an overly complicated situation. Miller clearly possesses more upside, and demonstrated that throughout the 2013 season and second half of 2014, the latter of which he was more heavily platooned with Chris Taylor in the mix. But he was a disaster throughout the first several months of 2014, leaving the door open for Taylor, who is much more of a ground ball/line drive hitter, but held his own with a 103 wRC+. Though Taylor's performance was surely aided by a .398 BABIP, it is worth noting that Taylor has consistently held extremely high BABIP throughout his minor league career, including a whopping .412 BABIP in AAA before his promotion.

Last year, Miller destroyed spring training, winning the then-shortstop battle over Nick Franklin. After Miller's hint at a possible star-ish future, some of us (definitely me) got a little carried away, and could only drool over the kind of upside Miller possessed. It's still there, though expectations are now dampened.

We know the defensive differences between the two, as Miller has soured his reputation with his penchant for untimely mistakes. Taylor is far more steady, and at this point, the answer to which shortstop is better defensively is clearly Taylor, though the gap is not as narrow as perceived if Miller ever stops making routine mistakes.

The purpose here is not to measure who should win or who we want to win, since the answer there is clearly Brad Miller as I force my own wishes onto you. Brad Miller, performing like he did in 2013 or the second half of 2014, is very clearly a better player than Chris Taylor is likely to ever be. But his floor, as also witnessed, might be a lot lower.

How do you see things unfolding this spring? Will Miller repeat his monster 2014 spring training with another beastly campaign, or will steady Taylor and his hole-finding grounders attract the Mariners? Is it possible the Mariners go rogue and cut Willie Bloomquist in order for them both to make the roster, platooning them much like they did down the stretch of 2014? Your votes below, please.

Also, that hair.