In this series I will be writing analyses of the best young pitchers and position players that the MLB has to offer.
Player: Shelby Miller
Miller comes from Brownwood, Texas and attended the local high school. He had an impressive high-school career as he threw four no-hitters and a perfect game. As a senior, he really caught the attention of major league scouts, pitching to a 1.90 ERA and recorded 153 Ks in 77 2/3 IP. Even more important was that he had a fastball that reached 97 mph as an 18 year old.
Although he was committed to play college ball at Texas A&M, he elected to sign with the Cardinals, who selected him as the 19th overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft. In 2012, he competed for a major league roster spot, but failed to make the team. Instead, he was relegated to AAA. He entered that year as the 5th ranked prospect in the league according to mlb.com and despite pitching to a 4.74 ERA, was called up in September and pitched against the Mets. He made the Opening Day roster the following season and has pitched to a 2.02 ERA, 65Ks, and 16 BBs in 62.1 IP and 10 games started.
Miller has an athletic build as he also played football (tight end and defensive end) in high school. At 6’3 and 200, he has a frame that allows him to pitch at high velocity without too much effort. Most importantly he has a clean arm action and is able to repeat his delivery consistently. This allows for good pitch location and projects as a relatively low injury risk delivery. He is also known as a fiery competitor and is always looking to improve. This personality type as well as his physical attributes reflect all of the traits that make up a future ace.
Fastball: Max Velocity: 98 MPH Avg Velocity- 92-94
In the minors, he primarily used his four-seamer, but now is starting to trust his two-seamer. The four-seamer is more explosive, but the two-seamer has a good diving action. The biggest aide to his fastball is Miller’s confidence and willingness to pitch inside.
Off-speed: Has a curve that is 12-6 with late breaking action. His change-up is his weakest pitch as it is more or less straight, but the speed differential between this pitch and his fastballs makes it an effective pitch.
He gave up a single to the first batter he saw and then retired 27 straight. He struck out 13 Rockies that night. Here is the video below:
Video of another dominant start by Miller.