The St. Louis Cardinals have one of baseball’s best young pitching prospects in Shelby Miller. The 20-year-old is 7-3 with a 2.97 ERA for Double-A Springfield this year and features a mid-90s fastball and a devastating curve. One thing is clear: Miller certainly isn’t far from the big leagues as long as he can keep his nose clean and continue progressing.
Miller has been suspended indefinitely by the Cardinals for what is being reported as an altercation at an apartment complex in Springfield, Missouri. Alcohol was involved. He has officially been suspended for “a violation of team policy” though originally it was thought that he missed his start on Monday because the team wanted to scale back his innings. He has tossed 122 innings this year already, 16 more than last season.
Miller declined comment on the suspension, claiming the organization instructed him not to speak to the media.
Miller was the 19th pick in the 2009 MLB Draft out of Brownwood High School in Texas. He then signed for $2.875 million and has been listed as the Cardinals’ top prospect by various scouting services ever since.
He is currently regarded as the organization’s top prospect by both Baseball America and ESPN’s Keith Law. In fact, Law had Miller rated as the No. 9 prospect in all of baseball back in February, and the second-best pitching prospect.
In his midseason rankings Law had Miller as the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball, saying “He’s the best right handed pitching prospect in the minors with a plus fastball, above-average to plus curveball and much better changeup.”
In fact, aside from some maturity issues it’s hard to find anyone who has ever said anything negative about Miller. Maybe this is just a blip on the radar, but we don’t think the Cardinals would up and suspend him if it was just a minor incident.
From what we’re hearing the Cardinals don’t think this will end Miller’s season, but it very well could. Again, details are scarce but the things that have emerged don’t make this sound good. Sure, 20-year-olds get drunk and do stupid stuff, so Miller can be forgiven if this was just a random occurrence. And maybe this is a chance for Miller to grow up after being given a harsh warning,
Still, when you’re someone a team has invested a ton of money in and centered its future around you have to be more mature than the average 20-year-old