Miller, Cards agree

By Matthew Leach

The Cardinals have agreed to terms with first-round Draft pick Shelby Miller, approximately seven hours before the deadline for 2009 picks to agree with clubs. A club official confirmed the signing, which is expected to be announced at 4:30 p.m. CT.

Miller was the 19th overall selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, will receive a bonus of $2.875 million, according to multiple Major League sources. That is approximately twice Major League Baseball’s recommendation for the slot. Miller was rated as one of the top high-school pitchers in this year’s Draft, and some analysts had him as the finest prep arm available. He had a commitment to attend Texas A&M, but made no secret that he preferred to play professional baseball.

The hard-throwing Texan is listed at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds. He has a fastball that has been clocked as high as 98 mph, and he also throws a curveball, with a relatively underdeveloped changeup. He was the first high school pitcher selected by the Cardinals in the first round since Brian Barber, whom they took with the 22nd overall pick in 1991.

Miller is the second high-bonus player to sign with the Cardinals this summer, joining Dominican outfielder Wagner Mateo, who received a reported $3.1 million.

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