With the 19th selection of the 2009 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals have selected right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller, from Brownwood High School in Brownwood, TX.
‘Round here we know better than to step on the toes of the fine folks over at Future Redbirds, who have far more knowledge on the draft and all the players chosen than we do.
As such, check out Erik’s writeup from this evening on the 18-year-old Miller.
Keep tabs on FR throughout the draft for more information on Cardinal selections.
For more information on Shelby Miller, check the following collection of links from across the web:
MLB.com scouting report – says fastball is “a heavy ball that pushes bats back.”
MSNBC says – “curve is solid with a chance to be outstanding with more command.”
The Baseball Draft Report adds – “what stands out about his mechanics is his tremendous balance.”
Prospect Insider glows – “Miller, however, throws harder than Purke, is more projectable than Matzek at this stage, and is already built like a 200-inning frontline starting pitcher.”
The NoMaas Yankees Draft Spot intereviewed Shelby Miller two months ago, and this question seems of particular interest:
Lane Meyer: Is it safe to say that if you got taken high in the 1st round, or got taken later and offered a nice contract, you’d consider signing?
Shelby Miller: Yes, sir, for sure.
Sporting News did a nice bit on Miller where he again indicated his intent to get started on a pro career early: “I don’t feel like waiting like some guys for two or three years. I want to get started on a career now,” he said. “I don’t care who picks me or where I go. It’s just an honor and a blessing.”
USA Today included Miller in their “cream of the crop for the draft” by saying – “The right-hander is another power pitcher from Texas in the mold of Josh Beckett and others.”
ESPN Rise wrote about Shelby’s continuing to play football his senior year, his desire to make a deep playoff run with his high school baseball team, and an unfortunate suspension of play because of the H1N1 virus (or swine flu) – this page also includes some video and analysis from Keith Law
Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote about Miller’s pre-draft talk of $4 million guaranteed, but read between the lines:
Miller said, as of now, he’s looking for a $4 million signing bonus plus being added to the baseball scholarship program.
“That’s the number we tossed out, but whatever it ends up being, it is,” said Miller, who throws a curveball and changeup, as well as his fastball. “If we can work something out quickly, I’ll start playing rookie ball. If not, we have until Aug. 15 to get something done. All I know is that I’m ready for this process to be over with.
“Right now, all I know is I could go anywhere from 2-21. Wherever I end up going, it’ll be exciting.”
If contract negotiations don’t go as planned, Miller has signed with Texas A&M, although it seems highly unlikely that he’ll be in College Station this fall.
“I’d like to play pro ball as quickly as possible,” Miller said. “If we can’t get a contract worked out, I’ll either go to A&M for three years or we’ll figure something out.”
“The talent was the best talent available on the board. …
“It’s no slam dunk that we are going to sign him quickly or sign him at all. We want to make a best effort to sign him.”
Matthew Leach of MLB.com was on the same call – a quote from Miller:
“The only thing that really concerns me is where I’m going to be going and how long it’s going to take me and where I end up,” he said. “Money really has nothing to do with it right now. I think that my career and my future ahead of me right now is professional baseball. Nothing against A&M, nothing against that coaching staff or anything over there, but college I just don’t see in my future right now. I think the Cardinals have a lot to offer.”
From Matt Baker’s (Springfield Cardinals beat writer for the Springfield (MO) News-Leader) blog on the Miller choice – “Falling to the Cardinals is awesome,” Miller said. “It’s going to work out great.”
Keith Law: Cardinals fans can put the torches down — they took a high-upside player with a big price tag on him. I’ve been a Miller fan since last summer and he’s a clear top-10 talent to me, so great pick at 19.
Jason Churchill: Cardinals get a top-10 talent, top-five for some, at 19. It’ll cost them more than slot, but a mid-90s heater and good breaking ball to go with physical projection…great pick, best player on the board sans Scheppers and his medicals.
Rich: Kudos to the Cardinals for taking the best available position player or pitcher rather than focusing on a more proven college prospect.
Marc: Nicely done. I agree with Rich… the Cards went with the best player available even though the organization typically takes college players.
Are you overloaded yet? This is by no means comprehensive, but in our never-ending search for information and knowledge, please accept this as our first attempt to generate excitement about a guy who has a chance to have great impact on this organization.