Posts Tagged ‘Shelby Miller’

The rookie class of 2013 was a tale of two halves, or at least clearly two leagues. In the National League, from the onset of the season, it was a phenomenal year for first year talent, with as deep of a crop of youngsters as the league has seen in many years. Conversely, in the American League the picture was slower to develop, as their rookies were inserted into the mix throughout the year as needed, yet still showed talents that could have made a much earlier impact if asked to.

The youth movement continued to get stronger in 2013, and set a tough act to follow for next summer’s sure to emerge prodigies. With that, here’s the best of the best for the first time down the road, and my ballot for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance Willie Mays Rookie of the Year Award:

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins

National League Willie Mays Rookie of the Year Award Winner—Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins

The Numbers: 12-6, 2.19 ERA, 172.2 IP, 187 K’s/58 BB’s/0.98 WHIP, .182 BAA

It was quite a year for young Jose Fernandez, who was just a year removed from breaking into professional baseball overall as the 14th pick in the 2011 Draft. However, he made the most of his one year in the minors, going 14-1 as a 19-year-old and quickly becoming one of the most coveted prospects in all of baseball. Following the Marlins roster dump last winter, he got a chance to get an extended look in Spring Training and before long, proved that anymore time in the minors would be leaving the meal in the oven too long; he was ready.

Taking to the mound as a 20-year-old for his Major League debut, he quickly made the MLBers look like the Class A competition he had dominated so easily a year ago. In 28 starts over the season, he went 12-6 for the lowly Marlins and became the youngest All-Star selection for the season (where he joined Bob Feller and Doc Gooden as the only sub-21 year old pitchers to strikeout two batters in an ASG appearance). However, he was just getting warmed up at the half-way point of the year, and truly showed his stuff in the second half. After the All-Star Break, he posted a microscopic 1.32 ERA, making him the stingiest pitcher in all of baseball. From August 2 until his final start on September 11th (a run of eight games), he lowered that number to 1.01, and rounded out his second half record to 7-1.

For the season, his 2.19 ERA was the second lowest in baseball and batters hit a paltry .182 against him for the season. His 9.75 strikeouts per nine innings was the best total in the NL and he allowed the least hits per game of any starter in baseball as well, at 5.7. And at only 21 now, he’ll be making even the Marlins look good for years to come every fifth day.

The Rest:

2. Yasiel Puig—Dodgers: .319, 19 HR, 42 RBI, 21 2B, 11 SB, 122 hits, .925 OPS, 5.0 WAR

The game’s most effective spark plug on the season, Puig pulled the Dodgers out of the cellar reaching the Majors in June, and continued to put his five-tool spectacular on display all the way to the NLCS.

3. Shelby Miller—Cardinals: 15-9, 3.06 ERA, 173.1 IP, 169 K’s/57 BB’s/1.21 WHIP, .234 BAA

Next to Clayton Kershaw, no pitcher got off to a better start than Miller did in 2013. Despite slowing some in the second half, his 15 wins led all rookies and in May, save for a leadoff single, he recorded 27 straight outs against the Colorado Rockies.

4. Hyun-jin Ryu—Dodgers: 14-8, 3.00 ERA, 192.0 IP, 154 K’s/49 BB’s/1.20 WHIP, .252 BAA

The Dodgers paid a large price to lure him to America, and the lefty returned on the investment often. He led all rookies in innings pitched, and finished tied for eighth in the NL in ERA.

5. Nolan Arenado—Rockies: .267, 10 HR, 52 RBI, 29 2B, 2 SB, 130 hits, .706 OPS, 3.9 WAR

He made impact a routine maneuver in his rookie year on the hot corner. His second career homer was a grand slam against reigning Cy Young winner David Price, and went on to become the first rookie winner of a Gold Glove at third base since 1957.


American League Willie Mays Rookie of the Year Award Winner—Wil Myers, Tampa Bay Rays

The Numbers: .293 average, 13 HR, 53 RBI, 23 2B, 5 SB, 98 hits, .831 OPS, 2.0 WAR

Myers made a huge impact on the season months before he even saw his first pitch. He was the crown jewel of one of the biggest, and most surprising, trades of the winter, when he was part of the deal that landed James Shields in Kansas City and him in waiting has the power conduit for the future in Tampa.

He had to wait a while to get a chance to make that impact, but when he finally reached the Majors in June, he did not drag his feet about delivering on the promise that had kept him among the top prospects in baseball for the past three seasons. In just over half a season, he led all AL rookies in home runs, doubles and RBI, while reaching base at a .354 clip. The Tampa offense was struggling to find much run production outside of Evan Longoria, but when Myers emerged, the team found its missing piece and took off, all the way to the AL Division Series.

At just 22, he has already shown that the hype was legit, hitting his first career home run against CC Sabathia just five days after being called up, and then made his home field debut as the sandwich portion of back-to-back-to-back homers against the Blue Jays. His numbers are lower due to his arrival time in the MLB, but if they were stretched out across a full year, they would play as 24 homers, 98 RBI and 42 doubles; a spread that could prove to be just the tip of the ice berg of what he can do on average over time.

The Rest:

2.Chris Archer—Rays: 9-7, 3.22 ERA, 128.2 IP, 101 K’s/38 BB’s, 1.13 WHIP, .226 BAA

The hard-throwing lefty became one of the toughest matchups in the AL. In June, he embarked on a four-game personal winning streak, where he allowed one run over 31 innings.

3. Jose Iglesias—Tigers: .303, 3 HR, 29 RBI, 16 2B, 5 SB, 106 hits, .735 OPS, 0.4 WAR

A magician with the glove, the future Gold Glove winner boosted the lumbering Tigers defense after being acquired at the trade deadline from the Red Sox, and provided a surprisingly solid bat as well.

4. Dan Straily—A’s: 10-8, 3.96 ERA, 152 IPs, 124 K’s/57 BB’s, 1.24 WHIP, .233 BAA

The steady workhorse mixed in well in the A’s ensemble of young starting pitching once again in 2013. After showcasing his potential at the end of last year, he returned to led all AL rookies in wins and innings pitched.

5. Martin Perez—Rangers: 10-6, 3.62 ERA, 124.1 IP, 84 K’s/37 BB’s, 1.34 WHIP, .267 BAA

The Rangers finally got a return from their long-time top prospect arm, and he performed well enough to start the one-game playoff the club found itself matched in, opposite the Rays and David Price.


There are more to follow in the next few days, as well as what’s already been addressed here as well:

Yesterday: Goose Gossage AL/NL Relief Pitchers of the Year – Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel

Friday: AL Walter Johnson Pitcher of the Year

Saturday: AL/NL Connie Mack Managers of the Year

Monday: NL Walter Johnson Pitcher of the Year

Tuesday: AL Stan Musial Most Valuable Player

Wednesday: NL Stan Musial Most Valuable Player


Wednesday night was my time in the rotation for the United Cardinal Bloggers Radio Hour once again, with Tara Wellman. In addition to covering the end of the Cardinals 4-2 victory over the New York Mets, we touched on a spread of topics around the Cardinals currently.

On yesterday’s show, we discussed riches and roles of the young Cardinals pitchers, who are currently beginning to push their way onto the big league club. Also in the same neighborhood of topics, we touched on the potential returns to the club, including what Mitchell Boggs, Marc Rzepczynski, and even Chris Carpenter. What could each mean to the team and how it progress across the season.

In addition to these, check out our word on why Shelby Miller is having such quick success, what’s the real difference in Adam Wainwright from ever before and the indispensable impact of Matt Carpenter as well.

These topics along, along with plenty more made the UCB Radio Hour what it was, and the podcast is available for download here:

And for more Cardinal talk along the way, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan 

Fully published at St. Louis Sports 360, March 12th.


All throughout the St. Louis  camp right now are splattering of guys that have numbers on their backs that look like a better fit with the St. Louis Rams than their  playing city mates. These jersey tags in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s would stick out like Cubs hat at Busch Stadium in October usually, but make no mistake about it, these aren’t second rate guys. In many cases, these are the gatecrashers are the ones that are looked at to be the future around the field, and the forecast in St. Louis hasn’t looked as bright as it does now in many years.

After many years of being one of the most depleted  in the game, due to a mixture of high profile trades, bad drafts and simply potential not becoming reality, the Cardinals minor league ranks are stacked right now. ’s Keith Law ranked as the 4th best minor league group in the game, and in addition placed five young  in his Top 100 prospects for 2012. However, many of those players are still years away from being ready to make a run at The Show. , Tyrell Jenkins, Kolten Wong, Trevor Rosenthal and Oscar Tavares are among the best the minor leagues have to offer, but are years away in their development still. The real sign of the depth of the system is that there are just as many talents that are pushing the ranks of the 25 man St. Louis group now, that aren’t as ballyhooed prospects.

In other words, the very best is yet to come; but the good that’s close now, is pretty close to great. The trick is that this current  is returning the majority of its roster. There is also a surplus of backups that could push their way into the everyday mix. So which of the minor league hopefuls in camp which ones have the best chance to crack into ’s mix now despite all of this? Here’s a look at the Cardinal farmhands that have the best shot at reaching, and impacting, the Bigs this season…


Carpenter represents a Major League ready bat that just needs a home for his glove to come with him.

: Last year’s spring sensation is back in camp looking for another chance to make the roster, and he’s doing it via a by any means necessary approach….


For the rest of this article, including a full listing of the top Cardinal farmhands that could make their way to and impact St. Louis this summer, follow this link to St. Louis Sports 360


And for everything else from my sports breakfast to fourth meal, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan.