Shelby Miller: Ace On The Rise

by Brendan Panikkar | Posted on Saturday, May 11th, 2013
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Shelby Miller

Shelby Miller continues to dominate, 7 starts into 2013

Friday, May 10th, 2013, that will be a date that some 37,800 St. Louis Cardinals fans at Busch Stadium will remember for quite a while because young, talented Shelby Miller flat out dominated the Colorado Rockies last night. A leadoff single in the top of the first inning to Eric Young Jr. would be the only base runner the Rockies would have for the rest of the game. The rest of the way saw Miller have pinpoint control and just over match all Rockies hitters as Miller struck out 13 while retiring the next 27 batters he saw. Cardinals fans have a very good reason to be excited about this kid, as one day he will be their Opening Day starter. He is already evolving into an ace, just 8 starts into his big league career (1 start last season, 7 this year). The win propelled the Cardinals to their 7th win in 8 games into the month of May.

7 starts into the 2013 season for Shelby Miller has him currently sitting at 5-2 with a 1.58 ERA in 45.2 innings pitched only allowing 29 hits, 8 earned runs and striking out 51 batters. The numbers that Miller is putting up right now would have him in stiff competition with the New York Mets, Matt Harvey to start the NL All-Star game. Early yes, but Miller has been THAT good. The success Miller is enjoying this early is probably what the majority of people did not see coming from the 22 year old but it is not the least bit surprising to me that Miller has been able to be successful in the majors. Here are a few reasons why I see Miller continuing his successes throughout the rest of the MLB season:

1. Easy, Repeatable Delivery

Other than the cutter, Mariano Rivera has been the most dominant closer on the planet in the history of the game of baseball because of his easy, repeatable delivery. The ability for Rivera to go out there and duplicate his delivery each and every pitch has allowed him to be successful. Shelby Miller also has a very easy delivery. There is not a lot of unnecessary moving parts in his delivery, just a plain and simple leg kick and sharp drive to home plate. The way Miller was throwing last night, shows why a delivery that is easy to repeat is important. His release point was spot on with every pitch he threw which allowed him to spot his great fastball wherever Yadier Molina called for it.

2. Solid Repertoire of Pitches

Shelby Miller throws a fastball which averages at just below 94 MPH, a cut fastball which has excellent movement coming in at 91 MPH, an 80 MPH slider, 80 MPH curveball, and a recently added change up, which he throws at 85 MPH. When Shelby Miller was considered the 6th best prospect in all of baseball in 2012, Keith Law said Miller`s stuff is absolutely filthy. His ability to make hitters look foolish by throwing a change up at almost 10 MPH less than his fastball, and exceedingly improving off-speed pitches, Miller has the ability to rack up high strikeout totals, as evidenced by his 13 K`s last night.

3. Size

Miller`s size can easily work to his advantage. He its 6`3, 215 pounds, and with the way his delivery is, he looks like he is throwing straight downhill which is very tough on pitchers. Once again, last night was just a taste of things to come. His make up on the mound will allow for him to pitch downhill for an entire ball game which will only make his fastball much more effective and have the look as if it is rising, his off-speed pitches will break a ton, and he will be able to continue to dominate.

These three elements that Shelby Miller has will allow him to continue to be successful throughout his entire major league career. Very soon, we will see Miller toe the rubber for the Cardinals on Opening Day for years to come. He has the ability to be a true major league ace and at the rate he`s going right now, it looks as he is unbeatable, as the most runs he has given up so far is 3 in one game. If you were one of the 37,800 fans at Busch Stadium or watching the game on TV or wherever you were around the world keeping up with Miller, you were treated to a glimpse into the future. Shelby Miller: Ace on the Rise.

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Brendan Panikkar
About the Author

Brendan Panikkar is a graduate of Brock University's Sport Management program. Currently, he is the Vice-President, Customer Service at North Aware. He loves all sports but baseball and football take precedent over hockey and basketball. Teams: Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Argonauts, San Francisco 49ers, Toronto Raptors

  • Thanks for the interesting article. I have Miller on my fantasy team this year, and needless to say, I’ve been very happy with how he’s thrown. I pulled up his pitches on, and in 2013 he’s streamlined his repertoire to a fastball (74% of the time), curveball (23%), and changeup (3%). He throws his fastball from 86 to 97 mph, which gives hitters a lot of different looks. His major league performance is in line with his minor league numbers, and the Cards do a good job handling and developing pitchers, so as long as Miller stays healthy, I expect him to have a long, successful career in St. Louis.

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