The St. Louis Cardinals' top prospect, pitcher Shelby Miller, has been rated as the fifth-best prospect in the entire sport on MLB.com's recently released Top 100 Prospect list. Compiled by resident prospect expert Jonathan Mayo, the list only includes two Cardinals prospects but they're both rated quite highly.
Miller, 21, is not far from being the best pitching prospect in the game. Only Tampa Bay's Matt Moore and Atlanta's Julio Teheran are ranked higher on Mayo's list. He's got the raw stuff and physical build that teams usually look for, as Mayo notes in his scouting report:
Miller began his pro career as more of a thrower than a pitcher, very much the prototypical Texas high-school flamethrower. In two years, he’s evolved into a much more complete pitcher. His fastball is still a plus pitch, and he commands it well. He’s learned to trust his other stuff more to go along with it, understanding his breaking ball and changeup can be effective weapons. Even when you can get strikeouts, pitching more efficiently and to contact can be a good thing. The gloves came off after Miller’s first full year and he responded by earning a promotion and dominating in Double-A. He’s built like a prototypical frontline starter should be, big and strong.
Basically, Miller has been an example of how developing a raw high school pitcher can go quite well, at least so far.
Between Miller and the Cardinals' other top prospect, pitcher Carlos Martinez (ranked No. 30), St. Louis has the makings of a potentially dominant young rotation. Both pitchers still need to make significant progress before they'll be ready to meet the kind of expectations that will be bestowed upon them, but the potential is there.