How Acquired: Drafted out of Brownwood HS (Brownwood, TX) by the Cardinals in the 1st round (#19 overall) in 2009.
2009 – Quad Cities (Midwest League – Cardinals A)
- 3 innings pitched
- 2 earned runs, 5 hits allowed
- 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Baseball America – #1 (STL – 2010)
John Sickels – #1 (STL – 2010 – B)
I found Miller to be an interesting case to study, after seeing both Baseball America and John Sickels say that he was the best prospect in the Cardinals system. This is in spite of only pitching 3 innings as a professional. So needless to say, I wondered two things: 1)Was the Cardinals system that devoid of high-end talent that their first pick in the most recent draft would already have a higher ceiling than anyone in the system? and 2)What was the story with this young pitcher? Is he really that good?
Scouting reports indicate that he throws a great fastball usually sitting in the mid 90’s. He also uses a good curveball, and has begun throwing a changeup since signing. However, it appears that while in high school, he relied heavily on the fastball, which has left his secondary pitches in need of work prior to advancement in the minors. Baseball Intellect states that his delivery appears to be very clean, although it probably needs some work on his “finish” (follow-through I imagine)
It is interesting to me, as the common theme that keeps coming up in the reports I read about Miller is that he’s “projectable”, and very high upside. Having no scouting background myself, these are concepts in word only to me. Generally, I am inclined to believe that a young pitcher who already has physical tools can be molded into a pitcher. The fact that he throws mid-90’s with his fastball as a 19 year old bodes well for the possibility of being taught to pitch at an effective level. I am really looking forward to seeing what he does next year with a full season of statistics.
Miller is exactly this: a high-upside right handed pitcher. Anything beyond that at this point is just conjecture and guessing in my opinion. I think that major league teams, in general, are going to do their due diligience involving players prior to drafting them and committing millions of dollars to them. As a result, I am inclined to believe that he should be at least a serviceable prospect to be sure, and potentially a good Major Leaguer. Until he finishes a full season, I remain skeptical.
Prediction for 2010
5-3, 3.50 ERA, 70 IP, 75 K, 35 BB
2012 at the soonest. Probably not a major league contributor until 2013 or 2014, in my opinion.