Brownwood graduate Shelby Miller is looking for his third Major League Baseball organization of the season after opting out of his minor league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.
As of late Tuesday, Miller, 28, is now a free agent and hopeful of again catching on at the Major League level.
Miller began the season in the Texas Rangers starting’ rotation, then was moved to the bullpen before the club parted ways with the 2009 first-round draft pick. During his time with the Rangers, Miller posted a 1-3 record with an 8.59 ERA, 30 strikeouts, 29 walks, 58 hits allowed and eight home runs surrendered over 44 innings — eight starts and 11 relief appearances.
Miller signed with the Brewers on July 18 and made one appearance for the San Antonio Missions, Milwaukee's Triple-A affiliate, before being re-evaluated. According to brewcrewball.com, Miller spent some time at Milwaukee’s “pitching lab” within their Spring Training home in Maryvale. Miller made three appearances in the Arizona League before rejoining the Missions.
In 20.2 innings with the Missions, Miller posted a 4.79 ERA with 20 strikeouts and 16 walks. In his final outing with San Antonio on Aug. 26, Miller surrendered six runs in 3.1 innings.
Miller has spent time with five organizations and four Major League clubs – the Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks. Miller has been attempting to revitalize his career, which hasn’t been the same since he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017 as a member of the Diamondbacks.
In 2013 as a Cardinal, Miller finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting, posting a career-best 15-9 record with a 3.06 ERA in 31 starts, with 169 strikeouts and 57 walks. The Cardinals went on to advance to the 2013 World Series, where they fell to the Boston Red Sox.
Miller was later traded to the Atlanta Braves, where in 2015 he appeared in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. He finished with just a 6-17 record, but tallied a 3.02 ERA, 171 strikeouts and 73 walks as the Braves ranked 13th out of 15 National League teams in runs scored, and provided just 2.65 runs per start for Miller.
The Braves then dealt Miller to the Diamondbacks in 2016 where he struggled and was sent back to the minors before being called back up to the big league.
Miller appeared to be regaining his old form in 2017 as after four starts he was 2-2 with a 4.09 ERA. But on April 29 Miller’s season ended due to a UCL tear and strained tendon, which led to Tommy John surgery.
Since his 2015 All-Star season, Miller has made just 36 starts in three-plus years. In the past two seasons prior to joining the Rangers, Miller appeared in just nine games with a 2-6 record, a 6.87 ERA, 39 strikeouts and 20 walks in 38 innings pitched.
For his MLB career, Miller owns a 38-56 record, a 4.11 ERA, and 622 strikeouts and 298 walks in 758.1 innings. He has appeared in 150 games, with 132 starts, and allowed 733 hits including 83 home runs.
Among his career highlights, on May 11, 2013, Miller allowed a leadoff single to Eric Young Jr. then retired the next 27 batters in order, 13 by strikeout, in a 3-0 Cardinals’ victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Miller hurled the second one-hitter of his career while with the Braves, a 6-0 victory at Miami on May 17, 2015. Miller owned a no-hitter for 8 2/3 innings before Marlin Justin Bour singled to center field with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
At Brownwood High School, Miller was named the 2009 Gatorade Texas High School Baseball Player of the Year. In his senior season as a Lion, Miller posted a 10-2 record on the mound with a 2.00 ERA and 153 strikeouts, 39 walks, 38 hits and 22 runs allowed in 77 innings. At the plate, he batted .430 with five home runs and 37 RBIs.