Bulletin Staff Report
Brownwood Lion Shelby Miller was rated the No. 1 pitcher and the No. 2 prospect overall at the 22nd annual Area Code Games, which took place Aug. 5-10 in Long Beach, Calif.
The event includes a 20-game showcase that takes place at historic Blair Field. The Area Code Games originated as a California-only event, but has expanded to include players from across the nation.
Josh Beckett, Demon Young and Justin Upton are just a few of the current Major League Baseball stars who participated in the Area Code Games.
During the Games, both professional and college scouts clocked Miller at 94 mph with his four-seam fastball, while he threw his two-seam fastball at 88 mph. Miller’s curve ball was credited with having good spin as it crossed the plate in the mid-70s range. The scouts also stated Miller “has an idea how to pitch.”
Miller graded higher than pitchers Matt Hogood (Norco, Calif.), Chad James (Yukon, Okla.), Jon Reed (Tulsa, Okla. Memorial High School), Steven Matz (Stony Brook, N.Y. Ward Mellville HS), Mark Appel (San Ramon, Calif. Monte Vista HS), Trent Stevenson (Scottsdale, Ariz. Brophy College Prep HS), Tyler Skaggs (Los Angels, Calif. Santa Monica HS), James Needy (Santee, Calif. Santana HS) and Tom Lemke (Phoenix, Ariz. Northwest Christian HS).
In the overall grading system, Miller trailed only 15-year-old Bryce Harper.
Miller, who is entering his senior year, earned second-team all-state status and was a voted MVP of District 16-4A during his junior season.
Among his accomplishments were three consecutive no-hitters, which tied a Texas high school record. Miller finished the 2008 regular season with an 8-2 record, 1.11 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched.