Cardinals Pick Pitcher Shelby Miller in First Round of Draft

Brian McDowellCorrespondent IJune 9, 2009

ST LOUIS - OCTOBER 13:  St. Louis Cardinals mascot Fredbird entertains the fans in game one of National League Championship Series against the Houston Astros during the 2004 Major League Baseball Playoffs on October 13, 2004 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Cardinals won 10-7.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

It is no secret that the St. Louis Cardinals pitching staff currently needs all the help that it can get. Besides the often injured Chris Carpenter, the inconsistently brilliant Adam Wainwright, and effective closer Ryan Franklin, it is difficult to find any Cardinal pitcher for fans to put any faith in. 

That is why it is refreshing to see that the team has used its 19th pick in the first round of this year's MLB draft to pick Shelby Miller, a strapping young right-handed pitcher from Texas. Miller is 6-foot-4, 208 pounds, 18, fresh out of high school, and is noteworthy among baseball scouts for both his ability to throw change-ups and his killer 96 mph fastball. He was expected to be picked higher in the draft than he was, so the Cardinals should be considered lucky to make him part of their organization.

Now, this refreshingly wise pick probably won't make an immediate difference in the slowly dimming prospects for the struggling team this season. Like most young baseball prospects, Miller will probably spend a fair amount of development time in their farm system before he is seen by fans in St. Louis. Still, in a couple of years, Miller seems primed to patch up some of the team's shortcomings. Let's just hope that this pick pans out and that Miller truly has what it is that the Cardinals so desperately need.