Found February 03, 2012 on
Fox Sports Midwest:
ST. LOUIS - Confident that this will be the year he reaches the big leagues, Cardinals prospect Shelby Miller took time on the recent Cardinals Caravan to ask David Freese and Jaime Garcia an important question.
When I do get to the big leagues, what do I wear? Miller recalled. Because I dont want to look like a fool when I go in there, like wearing flip flops and all the big league guys are like, Wow this guy is a rookie.
Miller, 21, enters the year as the No. 5 overall prospect in MLB.coms preseason rankings. After two dominant years in the Cardinals minor league system, hes expected to start the year with Triple-A Memphis.
But the always-confident Miller doesnt expect to be there all year.
I think that its on the track for this year, Miller said. Whether its in relief or I get to start, whether Im there half the year, I just want to be there at some point and I think that its going to happen as long as Im doing my part of it.
If all my pitches are working and Im staying healthy, I think it can happen this year.
Miller was the Cardinals first round draft choice No. 19 overall - in the 2009 MLB Draft. He spent all of 2010 at Low-A Quad Cities, where he went 7-5 with a 3.62 ERA in 24 starts. He had 140 strikeouts to just 33 walks in 104 13 innings.
The hard-throwing right-hander started 2011 at High-A Palm Beach and posted a 2.89 ERA and 81 strikeouts in nine starts before being promoted to Double-A Springfield midway through the year.
Miller was even better despite the jump in talent level, going 9-3 with a 2.70 ERA in 16 starts with Springfield to finish the year. He had 89 strikeouts to 33 walks and allowed just 72 hits in 86 23 innings.
For the season, the right-hander posted a 2.77 ERA and had 170 strikeouts in 139 23 innings between the two levels. His progression is expected to continue with a promotion to Triple-A to start 2012.
I feel like Im moving pretty fast, Miller said. The hardest thing is getting adapted to the better hitters. You can get away with throwing the fastball all day at the lower levels because Ive done it. Ive experienced it and got away with guys swinging at pitches in their eyes.
At Springfield it wasnt like that. I had to throw my off-speed a lot more and that was something I wasnt used to going in there. But I finished the year the best Ive ever pitched in my life. I had some really good starts thee and all my pitches were working.
Baseball America ranked Miller as the 50th best prospect in baseball before the 2010 season. He jumped to No. 13 overall prior to last season.
The flamethrower received a non-roster invitation to big league spring training for the third time in three years and will look to make an impression on new Cardinals manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Derek Lilliquist.
Miller has a very little chance of making the big league club out of spring training. But he knows a good showing in front of the coaches could go a long way in helping him get the call at some point during the year.
Spring training is going to be an ultimate test, Miller said. You have some new faces in the organization ... and you have to go in there and impress them and not let them think you arent ready.
Its going to be a big spring training, definitely the biggest so far. I think Im going to go in there with the right mindset and be ready for a good spring for sure.
Theres no doubt the Brownwood, Texas, native will pitch in the big leagues in the near future. And theres little argument that hell eventually be a No. 1 or No. 2 starter.
But whether that happens this year or not remains to be seen.
I think that my time will come soon, Miller said. If its not this year, it will be next year. Ill keep doing the right things and trying to get better as a pitcher and working with all my pitches. I think everything will fall into place. I think its going to happen.
And when it does, Miller will be ready. Hell even know what to wear.
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