|St. Louis Cardinals – No. 40|
October 10, 1990 |
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|September 5, 2012 for the St. Louis Cardinals|
(through 2013 season)
|Earned run average||2.94|
Drafted by the Cardinals out of Brownwood High School in the first round of the 2009 MLB Draft, Miller became one of the sport's highest-rated prospects. He is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Cardinals' minor league pitcher of the year in 2010, Baseball America's number one Cardinals prospect from 2009–11, and selection to the All-Star Futures Game in 2010 and 2011. A fourth award, MLB.com's Pitching Performance of the Month, was the result of his first MLB complete game shutout in May 2013, a one-hitter against the Colorado Rockies for a team record game score of 98.
Miller attended Brownwood High School in Brownwood, Texas. He played for the school's baseball team as a pitcher. On March 24, 2006, he was named Gosanangelo.com's pitcher of the week. In his sophomore year, he threw a no-hitter and helped lead his team to the regional semifinals. As a junior in 2008, Miller threw three no-hitters in consecutive games, including one perfect game.
In Miller's senior year, he pitched to a 10–2 win-loss record with a 1.90 earned run average (ERA), and recorded 153 strikeouts in 77 2⁄3 innings pitched, with his fastball recorded as fast as 97 miles per hour (156 km/h). He drew comparisons to fellow Texas power pitchers Nolan Ryan and Josh Beckett. In addition to baseball, he played tight end and defensive end for the school's American football team. He played quarterback until the seventh grade, when he suffered a staph infection, allowing Casey Pachall to win the role.
Draft and minor leagues (2009–12)
Miller committed to attend Texas A&M University on a scholarship to play college baseball for the Texas A&M Aggies baseball team. The St. Louis Cardinals selected Miller in the first round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. Rather than attend Texas A&M, Miller signed with the Cardinals, receiving a $2.875 million signing bonus on the August 17 deadline. He then made his professional debut with the Quad Cities River Bandits of the Class A Midwest League, making two appearances. He returned to Quad Cities for the 2010 season, where he compiled a 7–5 win-loss record, a 3.62 ERA, 140 strikeouts and 33 walks in 104 1⁄3 innings pitched. During the season, he was named to appear in the All-Star Futures Game. He was named the Cardinals' minor league pitcher of the year after the season.
Miller began the 2011 season with the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League (FSL). He was named the Cardinal Nation pitcher of the month for May 2011 after posting a 2.32 ERA for the month, and was promoted to the Springfield Cardinals of the Class AA Texas League at the beginning of June. At the time of his promotion, he led the FSL with 81 strikeouts, and was considered the best pitching prospect in baseball by Keith Law of ESPN.com. Along with Carlos Martínez, Miller represented the Cardinals at the 2011 All-Star Futures Game. He made Baseball America's top prospect list in the 2011 midseason. In August, the Cardinals suspended Miller for missing a team bus. The Cardinals named Miller their minor league pitcher of the month for June 2011. He pitched to a 9–3 win-loss record with a 2.70 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 86 2⁄3 innings pitched with Springfield. Miller totaled 25 starts with Palm Beach and Springfield, completing 139 1⁄2 innings and allowing a 2.70 ERA, 112 hits, 53 walks, and striking out 170 batters for an average of 11.0 strikeouts per nine innings pitched (K/9). After the season, Baseball America rated his fastball as the best in the Cardinals system, and named him a starting pitcher on their 2011 Minor League All-Star team. He was again named the Cardinals' Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
Miller entered the 2012 season ranked as the fifth best prospect in baseball by MLB.com. After competing for a spot on the Cardinals roster, he began the 2012 season with the Memphis Redbirds of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League. Though he struggled in the beginning of the 2012 season, pitching to an ERA above 6.00 through the beginning of July, Miller pitched to an ERA below 3.00 for the remainder of the minor league season, and recorded 160 strikeouts for the Redbirds in 137 innings pitched.
St. Louis Cardinals (2012–present)
Miller made his MLB debut on September 5, 2012, against the New York Mets, throwing two shutout innings, giving up one hit, walking none, and striking out four in relief. Amidst the Cardinals' competition for a playoff spot, Miller recorded his first major league win as a reliever in an extra inning game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 16.
Miller started his first major league game on October 3, against the Cincinnati Reds. Miller pitched six shutout innings, allowing only one hit, and striking out seven. He appeared twice in relief for the Cardinals during the 2012 National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants, allowing four hits and two runs in 3 1⁄3 innings. For the season, Miller completed 153 2⁄3 innings combined in the major league regular season, postseason and minor leagues.
2013 regular season
Miller made the Cardinals' Opening Day starting rotation for the 2013 season, following a spring training competition with Joe Kelly for the final spot in the rotation. He threw his first career shutout in a 3–0 win against the Colorado Rockies on May 10, 2013. After allowing a bloop single to Eric Young, Jr. to begin the match, Miller pitched the equivalent of a perfect game by retiring the next 27 batters in a row. He threw 113 pitches, 84 for strikes. He walked none, striking out a career-high 13, which tied the Cardinals' rookie record, also held by Dick Hughes and Scipio Spinks. It was the closest a Cardinals' rookie came to throwing a no-hitter since Bud Smith performed the feat in 2001. His Game Score of 98 was the highest ever for a nine inning game thrown by a Cardinals pitcher. Miller's season performance vaunted him as an early Rookie of the Year award favorite. He won the Pitching Performance of the Month award for May because of his one-hit game on May 10. He was 2–1, walking only six and striking out 32 for the month, while leading the NL with a 1.82 ERA.
The shortest start of Miller's career occurred in an August 7 start against the Los Angeles Dodgers. On the second pitch of the game, a line drive off Carl Crawford's bat glanced struck Miller's right elbow. He was removed from the game at that point. Follow-up x-rays were negative and the injury was characterized as an elbow contusion. His ERA to that point in the season was 2.89 and he averaged 9.8 K/9. On September 11, Miller continued his dominance over the Milwaukee Brewers, allowing five hits and striking out four in 6 2⁄3 innings. Against the Brewers, he improved to 3–0 with a 1.08 ERA while picking up his 13th win of the season. Despite Miller picking up his 14th win on September 15, his ERA from August 1 until that point was 3.60, raising it 3.19 for the season. In Miller's final start of the season, he won his 15th game, defeating the Washington Nationals. In turn, Jordan Zimmerman was denied his 20th victory. As teammate Adam Wainwright defeated the Chicago Cubs in his final start of the season on September 28, 2013, he tied Zimmerman for the league lead in wins. Miller's 15 wins tied for sixth and his 3.06 ERA was tenth in the NL.
Although Miller was on the roster for all three series in the Cardinals' 2013 postseason run, manager Mike Matheny did not place him in the starting rotation. Instead, he totaled a single inning in one relief appearance against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Division Series, in which he gave up one home run. Matheny rebuffed the suggestion that he was a "misspent asset" on the 25-man roster. He specified that, “He’s going to be a guy we’re going to use if we get into a situation where we’ve got a bunch of innings to eat up, whether it’s at the front end or back. He’s going to be our guy (if) we have to put things together.”
After losing the World Series in six games to the Boston Red Sox, Matheny and general manager John Mozeliak explained that Miller's role was as "insurance." In just one game until Michael Wacha's final start – which was the final game of the year – did a starter go less than five innings. Miller also became less effective as the season progressed late, with his strikeout rate decreasing and walk rate increasing. Said Matheny, "It would have to be a situation where we were pushing into a tight spot, and that’s just not fair to him without having much action to this point. He’s been exactly what we’ve needed up to this point. Fortunately we haven’t needed that long outing." Mozeliak added that "second-guessing the roster doesn’t have traction. His role was always that insurance. There were a lot of question marks as we were going into this on exactly how our rotation was going to unfold. The fact that everybody has stepped up changed the dynamic.”
Whereas most starting pitchers utilize a fastball, breaking ball, such as a slider or a curveball, and a changeup, Miller throws a fastball and curveball over 98% of the time. His fastball averages 94 miles per hour (151 km/h).
- Major leagues
- Baseball America All-Rookie team, Starting pitcher (2013)
- MLB.com Pitching Performance of the Month (May 2013)
- Minor leagues
- Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year (2010, 2011)
- Baseball America Minor League All-Star team (2011)
- MLB.com Top 50 prospects (2012, #5), (2013, #25)
- Baseball America Top 100 Minor League Prospects (2009, #50), (2010, #13), (2011, #8), (2012, #6)
- Baseball America Top Cardinals prospects (2009, #1), (2010, #1), (2011, #1), (2012, #2)
- Baseball America Cardinals' system Best Fastball (2009–11)
Miller's father, Mitch, was a member of the Brownwood Fire Department. Shannon Stone, a friend of the family and member of the Brownwood Fire Department, died at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in 2011 when he reached for a ball tossed into the stands by Josh Hamilton and fell.
Miller is to be married after the 2013 season. He and Joe Kelly, who will also marry during the offseason, are close friends and will serve as best man at each other's wedding.
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- "12-inning win over Dodgers was worth it". Chicago Tribune. Reuters. September 17, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
- Langosch, Jenifer (March 31, 2013). "Miller to make start in first turn through rotation". MLB.com. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
- "Shelby Miller statistics and history". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- "Cardinals' Shelby Miller retires 27 straight in 1-hitter". USA Today. Associated Press. May 11, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- Overbey, Steve (May 10, 2013). "One-hit wonder: Miller dominates Rockies: After allowing first-inning single, rookie retires final 27 batters". MLB.com. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- Hummel, Rick (May 11, 2013). "Miller almost perfect in shutout win". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- Timmermann, Tom (May 11, 2013). "Miller's masterpiece: 13 K's, one hit in 3–0 Cards win". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- Goold, Derrick (May 11, 2013). "Was Miller's gem the best ever for a Cards pitcher?". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
- Barrett, Pete (June 7, 2013). "Miller nabs May Pitching Performance honor: Cardinals rookie garners 51 percent of vote after retiring 27 straight Rockies". MLB.com.
- Silva, Drew (August 7, 2013). "Shelby Miller leaves game after taking liner off elbow". NBC Sports. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- Fagan, Ryanhttp://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2013-08-07/shelby-miller-injury-update-cardinals-sp-elbow-line-drive-carl-crawford (August 7, 2013). "Shelby Miller injury update: Cardinals SP hit in elbow by liner, exits game". The Sporting News.
- Scott, Bill (September 11, 2013). "Miller's dominance of Brewers continues". WRN Wisconsin Radio Network. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- Clancy, Sam (September 16, 2013). "Does Shelby Miller have a case for the Rookie of the Year Award?". www.calltothepen.com. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- Associated Press (September 26, 2013). "NL capsules". AP News Archive. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- Associated Press (September 28, 2013). "Wainwright wins 19th, Cardinals beat Cubs 6–2". Daily Herald. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- Thornburg, Chad (October 25, 2013). "Shelby Miller, Edward Mujica puts Cards first while awaiting opportunity". www.stlouis,cardinals.mlb.com. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- Goold, Derrick (October 21, 2013). "Miller waits for his turn to pitch in World Series". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- Strauss, Joe (October 31, 2013). "Series ends with Miller remaining idle". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- Eddy, Matt (October 28, 2013). "Puig, Fernández lead an impressive group". Baseball America. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- "Historic win for Cuban José Fernández". Baseball Writers' Association of America. November 11, 2013. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- Sullivan, Jeff (May 14, 2013). "Shelby Miller: It only takes two pitches to become an ace". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
- "Stats: Shelby MIller". Baseball America. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- Fraley, Gerry (July 11, 2011). "Fraley: Top prospect's parents skip Futures Game to pay respect to Shannon Stone". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
- Langosch, Jenifer (March 14, 2013). "Good pals Kelly, Miller still competing for rotation". MLB.com. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Shelby Miller on Twitter