MLB.com has released its 2012 Prospect Watch list for the upcoming season, a list comprised of the Top-100 minor league athletes who could make an impact in 2012. The list features two right-handed pitchers from the St. Louis Cardinals organization, Shelby Miller (ranked No. 5 overall) and Carlos Martinez (No. 30 overall).
Miller, born in Houston, Texas, is a product of Brownwood (TEX) High School where he was a two-sport athlete. He threw four no-hitters (one perfect game) and was also an All-State punter and All-District wide receiver. He was selected by the Cardinals in the first round (19th overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. He is fresh off another impressive season in which he posted an 11-6 record with a 2.77 ERA and 170 strikeouts (appeared in nine games for Palm Beach and 16 with Springfield). He was also, again, for the second year in a row, named the St. Louis Cardinals’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
Born in Colinas Del Sur, Dominican Republic, Martinez was signed by the Cardinals as a Minor League free agent on April 20, 2010. Last year he finished with a 6-5 record and a 3.93 ERA while fanning 98. Also in 2011, he was named the third-best prospect in the Cardinals organization by Baseball America. Compared to Pedro Martinez, his fastball stays consistently in the upper 90s, but has been clocked in the triple digits at times.
Joining Miller and rounding out the rest of the top five are No. 1-ranked Matt Moore (Rays), No. 2 Bryce Harper (Nationals), No. 3 Mike Trout (Angels) and Julio Teheran (Braves), ranked fourth.
The future looks bright for teams like the Rays, Athletics and Padres who all lead the Top-100 with six prospects each while the Braves and Mariners both have five and the Nationals, Rangers, Pirates, Royals, Blue Jays, Rockies and Red Sox all have four.
By: Michael Stagno, Memphis Redbirds media relations