The Pirates held Miller out of action until mid-season in 2009 since he was only one year removed from high school, but after only a few starts with State College he was promoted to West Virginia, where he made 12 starts with the Power down the stretch. His numbers weren’t great, but as a 19-year old who more or less went straight from high school to the Sally League, just holding his own was impressive. Morris certainly did that, managing a 1.33 WHIP and 4.47 ERA over 56 1/3 innings. His rate stats were shaky, but that’s nothing to worry about for now, given the circumstances. He’s obviously a long ways away from the Pittsburgh, but he’s worth keeping an eye on in 2010 every bit as much as the high school guys drafted in 2009.
July 2010 update: Miller made a nice start with West Virginia to open the year, then went down with a biceps problem in his second start and hasn’t pitched much sense. He just recently started rehabbing first with GCL Bradenton and then with State College, so hopefully the injury isn’t terribly serious.
In any case, missing time with injury is one of the hazards of drafting high school pitchers, but since Miller’s young there’s plenty of time to rebound from the injury. July 2010 rank: 6
January 2011 update: Miller takes a big tumble here, but again it’s mostly because some pitchers performed well, more talent came into the system, and he got hurt. He only just turned 21 in November, which means that if he’d gone to UNC instead of signing with the Pirates, he’d probably a junior in college about to reenter the draft this spring. Even if he heads to West Virginia for a third go-round there, it’ll be his first full season at the level and he still won’t be terribly old for the level. The injury, which was described as a biceps problem but kept him out for long enough to make me wonder about his shoulder and that’s worth keeping an eye on. Given his age the team could just being careful, though, which is fine. He did make some nice starts in April before his injury, so hopefully he can stay healthy this year and we can get a good look at him in 2011. January 2011 rank: 12