Shelby Miller
Shelby Miller
27-Year-Old PitcherSP
Arizona Diamondbacks
60-Day DL
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 9/25/2018
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Miller made four starts in 2017 before a torn UCL in his right elbow led him to season-ending Tommy John surgery in May. Before going under the knife, Miller was showing the ability to miss bats at a healthy clip in his limited opportunities to pitch, and his fastball velocity jumped to a career-high 94.9 mph. Although Miller was throwing from flat ground in October, he will be less than a year removed from surgery on Opening Day. As he moves further into his rehab, a clearer timetable for his expected return should surface. The D-backs' rotation was strong despite his absence in 2017, and with all five of those starters penciled into their respective spots to begin the season, Miller could end up as the team's sixth starter and long reliever initially upon his return. The increased velocity last season makes him slightly more interesting than he was coming off of a brutal debut season with Arizona in 2016 when his ERA topped out at 6.15. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $4.9 million contract with the Diamondbacks in February of 2018 after winning his arbitration hearing.
Advances to mound work
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 17, 2018
Miller (elbow) threw a 27-pitch bullpen session Saturday, the Associated Press reports.
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said Miller "felt good" during the session, but it's unclear if the right-hander has enough time left to make an appearance before the regular season ends Sept. 30. If Miller is activated from the 60-day disabled list in the next two weeks, he'll be ticketed for a bullpen role since he won't be ready to handle a starter's workload.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .312 361 54 43 98 24 3 12
Since 2016vs Right .291 274 55 18 73 14 1 8
2018vs Left .242 39 11 5 8 1 1 2
2018vs Right .457 37 8 2 16 1 1 3
2017vs Left .280 60 7 10 14 5 0 1
2017vs Right .162 39 13 2 6 2 0 0
2016vs Left .329 262 36 28 76 18 2 9
2016vs Right .285 198 34 14 51 11 0 5
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
Since 2016Home 7.25 1.75 71.0 1 11 0 8.0 4.0 1.8
Since 2016Away 5.45 1.61 65.0 4 7 0 6.1 4.0 0.8
2018Home 7.84 1.65 10.1 0 2 0 11.3 2.6 2.6
2018Away 19.29 3.00 4.2 0 2 0 11.6 7.7 3.9
2017Home 5.79 1.82 9.1 1 1 0 9.6 7.7 1.0
2017Away 2.84 1.18 12.2 1 1 0 7.1 2.8 0.0
2016Home 7.39 1.76 52.1 0 8 0 7.1 3.6 1.7
2016Away 4.81 1.58 48.2 3 4 0 5.4 3.9 0.7
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Stat Review
How does Shelby Miller compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
94.5 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Miller certainly would like to just forget the 2016 season ever happened. Acquired in an offseason trade with Atlanta (a deal that sent former No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson to the Braves, along with outfielder Ender Inciarte), Miller was supposed to pair with Zack Greinke to give Arizona a boost in the rotation. Instead, Miller struggled pretty much from the start, and he ended up being demoted to the minors in July. Miller's 6.15 ERA was easily the worst of his career -- his previous worst was the 3.74 ERA he posted in 2014 with St. Louis. Heading into 2017, Miller's stock is as low as it's ever been. He'll probably start the season in the rotation if only because of how much the team gave up to get him, but it's clear Miller is on a short leash. He will be much less in demand on draft day than he was a year ago, so he could be a decent bargain play if he's able to revert back to his previous form.
Miller's first two seasons feel miles apart despite only a 0.68 difference in ERA. His strikeouts plummeted, his walks spiked, and he likely wouldn't have maintained his 3.74 ERA without a .256 BABIP. His debut season with Atlanta looked a lot like the rookie season from 2013, complete with strikeout and walk improvements, plus a sharp spike in his groundball rate to a career-best 48 percent. He spent the first five-plus months with a sub-3.00 ERA before a modest September, but his season will be most remembered for a 24-start winless streak (0-16 with eight no-decisions). He certainly didn't pitch poorly, but his 3.83 ERA and 1.43 WHIP during that stretch played a big role in his own demise. If the groundball gains are real, he doesn't need a return to his '13 strikeout level to be solid. Pay for mid-3.00s and expect an uptick in wins after the blockbuster trade that sent him to the Diamondbacks.
In November, Miller was sent to Atlanta as part of the Jason Heyward trade, a move that could help the talented righty who's still just 24 years old. Miller was solid again in his second full season as a major leaguer, starting 31 games and posting a 3.74 ERA and striking out 127 batters across 183 innings. His underlying numbers are less impressive, however, as he was helped by a .256 BABIP and a 76.9% LOB percentage, slightly lower than his career norms. His 4.47 xFIP is not inspiring, but he is still very young and Atlanta has always had success in developing pitchers, so the change of scenery could be just what he needed. Unfortunately, the loss of Heyward from the outfield won't do Miller any favors as he's a bit of a flyball pitcher (0.97 GB/FB). Miller should still have a fairly safe floor and a decently high ceiling for 2015, making him a worthy gamble if the price is right.
Miller started the season on fire as one of baseball's best pitchers over the first few months of 2013. Even after cooling a bit in the second half, Miller finished the season with excellent numbers, striking out 169 batters in 173.1 innings and carrying a 3.06 ERA. He struggled with walks at times, but at age-23, he's still capable of ironing out those issues. Miller's mysterious disappearing act during the playoffs led many to speculate that the young flame-thrower might be traded during the offseason, but Miller remains with the team heading into the spring and projects to be a mid-rotation starter for the Cards in 2014.
One of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball, Miller struggled at times with Triple-A Memphis last year, but he had a nice stint with the Cardinals late in the year, including a six-inning scoreless gem on the season's last day. Miller will be given every opportunity to win a job in the rotation this season, and given his stuff, he could be at the top of that rotation within a few years. You might look at his 4.74 ERA and 1.38 WHIP with Memphis and wonder what the big deal is, but check out the 160:50 K:BB ratio in just 136.2 innings. It might already be too late to get him at a good price.
St. Louis may inexplicably give the ball to Kyle Lohse every fifth day, but they have a pitcher down in Springfield that is probably better than Lohse right now. Miller, the top prospect in the St. Louis system, and arguably the top pitching prospect in all of baseball, may get a shot at making the rotation out of spring training, but he's far more likely to pitch in the minors at least for a few more months. His walk rate could use a little work, as it increased a little when he advanced last year, but everything else is already major-league ready. Buy him now before it's too late.
The Cardinals are clearly being cautious about their top draft pick in 2009, but at 19 he put up a dominating 140:33 K:BB ratio in 104.1 IP for Low-A Quad Cities last year, so it won't be long before they start feeling the pressure to bring him up. A .367 BABIP contributed to his not-so-noteworthy ERA and WHIP, so his numbers could improve this year even if he doesn't. He's going to advance quickly, so pick him up in keeper formats while you still can.
Miller was the Cardinals' first-round pick out of high school last year. He's big and throws very hard, but at just 19, he has a long way to go before he reaches the majors. He'll probably spend all of 2010 in Low-A, working on his command.
More Fantasy News
Will throw from 125 feet next week
PArizona Diamondbacks
August 31, 2018
Miller (elbow) is scheduled to extend his throwing distance off flat ground to 125 feet next week, the Associated Press reports.
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Extends throwing distance
PArizona Diamondbacks
August 28, 2018
Miller (elbow) threw from approximately 75-to-100 feet Monday, Martin Oppegaard of reports.
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Ups throwing distance
PArizona Diamondbacks
August 22, 2018
Miller (elbow) increased his throwing distance to 75 feet off flat ground Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.
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Starts throwing program
PArizona Diamondbacks
August 20, 2018
Miller (elbow) threw off flat ground Saturday from approximately 60 feet, the Associated Press reports.
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Shifts to 60-day DL
PArizona Diamondbacks
July 31, 2018
Miller (elbow) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday, Zach Buchanan of The Athletic Arizona reports.
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