3. Shelby Miller, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
Miller is cooking up dominance
Miller came out of the first round (19th overall) to the Cardinals in 2009. He went 11-6 with a 2.77 ERA and 170 K's in just 139 2/3 innings with High Single-A Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield in 2011. A rough start to 2012 with Triple-A Memphis set him back a tad, but a second half growth in dominance and control put him back on the fast track. He finished with 160 punchouts in 136 2/3 frames and was called up to St. Louis, where he got the win in his lone start.
The 22-year-old northpaw is very athletic and can add strength to his 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame down the line. He has a an elite fastball-curveball combination that can get major league hitters out now. He's extremely smooth and balanced in his delivery, making his mid-90s fastball tough to square up with late movement added. His hard-biting curve misses bats with frequency, and the addition of a changeup makes him a true power pitcher with heaps of K upside. If everything goes right, he's the Red Birds' future ace of the staff.
The Cardinals haven't decided what they're doing with Miller just yet, but from all indications, he seems to have a slight lead over Joe Kelly for the No. 5 rotation spot. One more impressive spring outing would probably seal it for Miller. If for some reason he loses the job to Kelly, Miller will probably be up contributing to the rotation before long this year. He's a no-brainer addition in keeper leagues and is worth a late-rounds investment in mixed leagues because of his enticing, high-K upside.
On to No. 4
Top fantasy baseball prospects - AL 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
Top fantasy baseball prospects - NL 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
Don't miss these great reports....