In 2009, the Cardinals selected Shelby Miller as the 19th pick in June’s amateur draft. He was considered one of the top high school arms, if not the best high school pitcher available in the draft, and likely only fell to the Cardinals due to signability concerns. Fortunately, the Cards managed to work out an agreement with him at the last minute. But everyone reading this probably knew all that. I’m here to tell you some other things about Shelby Miller, that you probably didn’t know.
Shelby Miller is a master of ping pong, honing his skills for years as a child in his mother’s basement.
If you were to look at Miller’s stats in Quad A, you might be concerned about him. Even in small sample sizes, pitchers with stuff like Miller shouldn’t have numbers that look like this: 0-2, 5.32 ERA, 1.56 WHIP… Those are Lohse-ian, not what you look for in a guy who was given a huge signing bonus. Sure, he’s young, but he’s facing young guys, too. So what’s wrong with him?
When Shelby Miller was in high school, he was in a serious accident after a deck collapsed at a party he was attending, killing eight people. While there were 23 others on the deck, he always blamed himself for the accident.
The truth is, there’s no reason to panic. Look beyond the statistics that get cited on ESPN, and you’ll see that he’s actually off to a fantastic start. In 23.2 innings, he’s struck out 41 batters. That’s what those of us who like to get excited about things call that “really fucking awesome”. That’s the kind of K rate Tim Linecum was putting up in the minors a few years ago. He’s only walked 9 batters, and given up two home runs. His FIP, which is a statistic that predicts what ERA should be, rather than what it is, hovers around 2.30 according to Minor League Splits.
Shortly after receiving his signing bonus, Shelby Miller purchased a brand new home for his mother. However, on the day he planned to surprise her with the house, the building caught on fire and his mother broke her ankle. Miller ended up being arrested after the police arrived because of a passing resemblance to a local drug dealer.
So if he’s actually dominating A-ball, why are Miller’s ERA and WHIP so bad? You see, Shelby Miller has been very unlucky. Monumentally unlucky. His BAbip, again according to Minor League Splits, is .464. BAbip represents the opposing batter’s batting average on balls in play. The average BAbip, quite conveniently, is somewhere around .300. Everything above or below that is a combination of luck and defense. Miller’s .464 is probably more stunning than his K rate. Almost half of every ball that is hit into play falls for a base hit.
In high school, Shelby Miller dominated his opponents, and put up the following numbers, which led to his massive signing bonus. 4 complete games, 8 wins, 15 Earned runs, a 1.60 ERA, .230 Batting Average allowed, .420 OPS allowed.
In short, there is nothing to worry about with Shelby Miller. His “struggles”, if you can even call then that, are just the product of unbelievably bad luck. Despite what you might hear, he actually is dominating his level, and doing so at a young age.
The fried chicken restaurant where Shelby Miller used to work was destroyed by a meteor that also killed a famous local reporter.
If you can’t tell, I’m pretty disgusted with the major league Cardinals right now, so I’ve chosen to focus on a bright spot in the future, and reassure everyone that even if the team is infuriating right now, our top prospect isn’t as awful as his front page numbers might suggest.
Unless he is the unluckiest man alive, Shelby “Hurley” Miller should be just fine. Just don’t let him get on any planes bound to Australia.
None of the Shelby Miller facts in italics were true. If you haven’t, you should probably watch LOST. It’s even better on DVD.