The St. Louis Cardinals selected high school RHP Shelby Miller out of Brownwood High School in Brownwood, TX with their top pick in Tuesday night’s MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Miller is considered by many to have the best fastball in the draft and it was rated tops among prep pitchers by Baseball America. He was rated the 7th-best right-handed pitcher in the draft by Baseball America. The 18-year-old is a solid athlete, also starring on the football field as a tight end and punter for Brownwood High School. Shelby has a commitment to attend Texas A&M as its top baseball recruit.
“Shelby was the best player available to us when we picked and we were glad he was available,” said Cardinal Vice President, Scouting and Player Development Jeff Luhnow. “He is a strong kid with a solid make-up and a plus-plus fastball that is difficult to hit. We are going to do our best to sign him and get him in the Cardinals system soon.”
Miller was 10-2 with a 1.90 ERA this past season for Brownwood. He struck out 153 batters in 77.0 innings pitched and allowed 36 walks and 38 hits.
It is the third time in the last six years that the Cardinals went with a high school prospect with their first pick. Their last top pick out of a high school program was Peter Kozma in 2007. Miller, 6’3, 195”, is the first high school pitcher selected in the first round by the Cardinals since they selected Brian Barber with the third of three first-round selections in 1991 (compensation from Mets for Type B free agent Vince Coleman).
The Cardinals chose catcher Robert Stock out of the University of Southern California with their second round pick (67th overall). Stock was a two-way player with the Trojans as he also was a member of the pitching staff. Stock batted .226 with six home runs and 30 RBI this past season. He walked 23 times and struck out 24 in 137 at-bats. Stock batted .263 with 14 home runs and 74 RBI in his three-year Trojan career.
On the mound, Stock was 5-4 with a 2.90 ERA (77.2 IP / 25 ER) in 20 outings (nine starts). He walked 39 and struck out 86 in 77.2 IP. In his last start, Stock threw seven scoreless innings at Cal, allowing four hits and striking out seven. He made national headlines after he bypassed his senior year in high school to join the Trojans as a 17-year-old freshman in 2007. Stock was named 2005 Baseball America Youth Player of the Year.
Joseph Kelly of the University of California-Riverside was chosen in the third round by the Cardinals (98th overall). He was named Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year as a freshman in 2007. Kelly gained a save in the Big West Championship-clinching win over #10 UC Irvine on 5/27/07. This season, he was 1-1 with a 5.65 ERA in 23 games out of the bullpen. Kelly’s father, Joseph Sr., played football at Vanderbilt University and for the San Diego Chargers.
2009 FIRST-YEAR PLAYER DRAFT – CARDINALS’ DAY 1 RECAP
|1||Shelby Miller||RHP||R-R||6-3||195||Brownwood H.S.||Brownwood, TX|
|2||Robert Stock||C||L-R||6-1||190||University of Southern California||Westlake Village, CA|
|3||Joseph Kelly||RHP||R-R||6-1||170||UC Riverside||Corona, CA|
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