Shelby Miller took another step toward winning Rookie of the Year honors on Thursday, but the St. Louis Cardinals' elite young pitcher didn't do it on the mound—he did it by hitting his first career home run.
If his 6-3 record with a 1.91 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP wasn't enough for you, Miller proved that he is more than just a strong arm by clubbing his first long ball to deep center against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Miller showed off his first signs of power last year when he went 2-for-3 with a double. However, he struggled at the plate this season, batting 0-for-22 entering Thursday night.
That all changed with one swing.
Back to back home runs! Former first round Draft pick Shelby Miller with his 1st career home run. Matt Carpenter follows! 12-2 #STLCards— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 7, 2013
So Shelby Miller is making his case for Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and maybe MVP (not really), but he does have a HR tonight and 9 Ks.— Paul Severino (@SeverinoMLB) June 7, 2013
Is this a home run derby? This time by the Cardinals pitcher Shelby Miller! Whoop whoop, 11-2 Birds! -T— FSMidwest Girls (@FSMidwest_Girls) June 7, 2013
I can't.believe.shelby Miller hit a homerun tonight#fantasybaseball— Lucas Gard (@_LukeoftheIrish) June 7, 2013
@abbswalka6 *oprah voice* YOU GET A HOMERUN, YOU GET A HOMERUN, EVEN YOU SHELBY MILLER, YOU GET ONE TOO.— Ryan Theis (@ryanthies) June 7, 2013
He was one of five Cardinals to hit a home run against the Diamondbacks on Thursday, racking up his second hit of the game after singling to center in the second inning.
Miller gave up two earned runs in six innings pitched while striking out nine on Thursday. This would be a great start for most pitchers, but it actually hurt his stats.
He leads the NL in ERA, is sixth in WHIP, sixth in strikeouts and boasts a stellar 3.0 WAR. That might be the main reason why he's an early candidate for NL Rookie of the Year, but his deep blast can only help.
This is just one of the many ridiculous ways to say that Miller is really, really good. That's why Yahoo! Sports called Adam Wainwright and Miller the best 1-2 punch in baseball and StlSportsMinute.com called him a franchise player in just his rookie season.
We already knew Miller had the arm to be a star, but on Thursday he proved that he has the bat to match.