Thoughts on Shelby Miller

There are few things I love more than watching good prospects come up through the Cardinal’s system. And this guy…

is the talk of the town right now with his recent suspension; since he’s one of the best prospects we’ve had come through in quite some time. As most of you know, Miller cruised through A ball at Quad Cities and Palm Beach, before coming to AA Springfield this year (quick side note: if you have never made the trip to Hammons field in Springfield, you are missing out). Miller is listed as a top 10 prospect in many publications, including Baseball America and USA today. In his minor league career, Miller has 152 strikeouts in 122.2 innings pitched with a WHIP of 1.24.

On June 3rd, I had tickets for Miller’s AA debut for Corpus Christi. Unfortunately, work got busy and I wasn’t able to make the game, but man that would have been fun.

I did get to see him pitch July 7th in Springfield against Frisco Roughriders. Here are a few tweets I sent from the game that night (follow me on twitter here for more awesome tweet like this, shameless self-promotion!)

-1st inning for miller. 15 pitches 0 runs 1 infield hit. 9 fastballs 4 curves and 2 changeups. Fb hit 97. 6 foulballs. Lots of contact.

-Miller 18 pitches in 2nd. 10 strikes, 15 fastballs, 2 changeups, 1 curve. Hit 99 on the gun. 21 of 33 so far for strikes

-Shelby miller strikes out side in the 4th. First 3 k’s of the game. Went to the curve earlier and more often in 4th

-20 pitches in 4th, 64 thru 4. 12 strikes. 6 curves this inning 3 for strikes but all foul balls. No swing and misses

-Millers night is done after 4 2/3 innings. in 5th E6, stolen base, k, stolen base, k, double and pulled. Struck out 5 in a row before double to Leonys Martin ended his night

I’ll say this after watching him, the kid’s fastball is impressive. His changeup is very good also. However, his breaking ball is not good, and I don’t see him being a quality pitcher in the big leagues until he develops that breaking ball. The good news is he is young, and has time (and good coaching) to help him along the way.

Speaking of being young…..

Miller has not made a lot of friends among the STL media. Go read through some of Joe Strauss’ tweets. The Sunday after I watched Miller pitch against Frisco, Matthew Leach ran a story on the team’s website about Miller after interviewing him at Future’s game. In the interview, Miller kept talking about how he can’t wait to be in the big leagues (this is also a recurring theme in his tweets). I retweeted the article and commented “seems to be a very confident young pitcher”. Leach saw the tweet and replied “very”.

Here are a few of Miller’s tweets I was referencing…

ShelbyMiller19Shelby C Miller
2012 show bound. Us both. Pray for it. @Joe_Kelly22
Can’t wait till im buying a condo/house in St. Louis. Waiting for the day.
Eyes on the prize. With that maserati on my mind! Gonna happen
I need to get 700 more followers today. Who has the number one fans in baseball? St. Louis Cardinals let’s go
There’s a lot more, but you get the idea.
So what’s the point of all this?
I want Shelby Miller to be a top of the rotation guy for the STL Cards for 10-12 years. And Lord knows I made a lot of mistakes at 20 years old, so not trying to pile on for his recent suspension and constant stream of tweets soliciting followers and dreaming of the big leagues. But I am saying that I’m not quite ready to anoint him the next Chris Carpenter or Adam Wainwright just yet. He has one great pitch, one really good pitch, and others that need some work. He has the potential no doubt. But he will do himself a lot of favors by working hard, keeping quiet, and showing gratitude for the opportunities he is being given.

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3 Responses to “Thoughts on Shelby Miller”

  1. David57 August 17, 2011 at 9:51 PM #

    Why is Miller suspended?

    • Chris August 17, 2011 at 10:34 PM #

      Team hasn’t said for sure, but rumored to be a bar
      fight which is even more problematic since he’s
      20

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  1. Cardinals Top 7 Prospects | Birds on the Bat 82 - September 16, 2011

    [...] to develop a solid third pitch before he’s major league ready (more thoughts on Shelby Miller here). Many fans are anxious to see Miller mid-2012, but barring a serious injury to one of the starting [...]

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