#4 Shelby Miller
St. Louis Cardinals
Previous Rank: 16
Aside from a team-issued suspension for being an idiot, Shelby Miller had an outstanding 2011 that only served to reinforce his spot as the top righty in the Minor Leagues. He posted a 2.77 ERA in 25 starts across two levels including his final stop in Springfield where he collected 16 Double-A starts as a 20-year-old. Yikes! The kid struck out 170 guys on the season next to only 53 walks in just under 140 IP. Again, Yikes!
Miller is special.
|2011||20||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AA-A+||11||6||2.77||25||139.2||53||170||1.181||7.2||0.3||3.4||11.0||3.21|
|A (2 seasons)||A||7||5||3.69||26||107.1||35||142||1.276||8.6||0.6||2.9||11.9||4.06|
|AA (1 season)||AA||9||3||2.70||16||86.2||33||89||1.212||7.5||0.2||3.4||9.2||2.70|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||2||3||2.89||9||53.0||20||81||1.132||6.8||0.3||3.4||13.8||4.05|
His fastball has tremendous sink and arm-side ride to go along with 94-97 mph of pace. His changeup and curveball already get 50s, but they still have room to grow. His breaker is tight with quality shape, but it is not consistent yet. The changeup is ahead of the bender, and it features excellent fade that should allow him to neutralize lefties in the Bigs as he already has shown he can do on the farm. Miller should open the year in Triple-A with the singular goal of developing his secondary stuff. Should he prove to accomplish this early on in 2012, we see no reason for the Cardinals not to push for his promotion.
Miller is elite and, with a 6-foot-3 and projectable build as well as aggressive and competitive makeup, should steamroll his way to Busch and challenge for the ace role there immediately. We expect Miller to annually receive CY votes.