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Cardinals choose top prospect Shelby Miller as fifth starter

Shelby Miller

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller throws during the first inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Miami Marlins Tuesday, March 19, 2013, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)


Jenifer Langosch of reports that the Cardinals have decided to go with Shelby Miller as their fifth starter, choosing the 22-year-old top prospect over Joe Kelly, who did a solid job starting 16 games last season.

Miller was very impressive in a 14-inning September call-up last season after racking up 160 strikeouts in 137 innings at Triple-A and ranks among Baseball America‘s top 10 prospects for the second straight year.

He projects as a potential long-term ace if things go well and has dominant raw stuff, although Miller’s control was iffy last season with 3.3 walks per nine innings and he served 24 homers in 27 starts. Kelly will begin the season in the bullpen and serve as the fill-in if any injuries strike the rotation.