March 12, 2012; Melbourne, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller (71) throws a pitch during spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE
Minor League Prospect Note: Shelby Miller, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals pitching prospect Shelby Miller has pitched well in four of his last five starts for Triple-A Memphis. He had a rough outing on July 25th (five runs, seven hits in four innings against Nashville), but was very effective on July 14th (five shutout innings vs. Round Rock), July 20th (six shutout innings against Oklahoma City), July 30th (two runs, eight strikeouts in seven innings against Round Rock), and again on August 5th (two runs, eight strikeouts in seven innings against Fresno). He has a 25/3 K/BB ratio in his last 28 innings, and hasn't walked anyone in his last four starts.
Has he turned things around?
Overall, Miller has a 5.25 ERA in 22 starts for Memphis, with a 115/46 K/BB ratio in 106 innings, 114 hits allowed, including 20 longballs. His improvement seems to coincide with some adjustments the Cardinals made with his pitching approach in late June, forcing him to use his breaking ball more often.
Miller's difficulties this year will reduce his standing on prospect lists, but keep close track of his August performance. If he continues pitching as he currently is, he'll end the season on a positive note. He's still just 21 years old and in Triple-A; it is way too soon to give up on him, but perhaps too easy to ignore him in favor of Shintoys (Shiny New Toys).
Fantasy owners should take a look at buying Miller while his stock is down, or holding instead of selling if you own him. Cardinals fans should still view him as a top prospect.