O’neill and Miller Win Cardinals August Minor League Honors

ST. LOUIS, Mo., September 3, 2012 –The St. Louis Cardinals announced their Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for August by honoring outfielder Mike O’Neill and right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller for their accomplishments on the field.

O’Neill won his second consecutive monthly award, taking the honors in July while in Palm Beach (A) before his promotion to Springfield (AA) in mid-August.

The 24-yeard old O’Neill was the Cardinals’ 31st round (949th overall) selection out of the University of Southern California in the 2010 first-year player draft. 

In August, the Riverside, Calif., native batted .415 (27-65) with a .513 on-base percentage and 1.006 OPS in 22 games between Palm Beach and Springfield.

O’Neill will end the 2012 season as the first Florida State League batting champion in Palm Beach franchise history, batting .342 in 108 games, setting the Palm Beach mark for season batting surpassing Allen Craig’s mark of .312 set in 2007.  O’Neill went on to bat .563 (18-32) with a .634 on-base percentage and an OPS of 1.353 in 12 games at Springfield in August helping the Cardinals to their second half playoff berth. 

“Mike continues to improve offensively, displaying outstanding plate discipline and bat control,” said Cardinals farm director John Vuch.  “He knows the type of game he needs to play in order to be successful and has adapted his game to fit that role.  He’s handled the promotion to Double-A without missing a beat and we look forward to seeing him in the Texas League Playoffs and then in the Arizona Fall League.”

Miller, 21, who was the Cardinals’ first round selection out of Brownwood (Texas) High School in the 2009 first-year player draft, won his third organizational monthly award in as many seasons, taking previous awards in June 2011 and July 2010. 

The right-hander was 5-1 with a 2.89 ERA in six August starts at Memphis (AAA) striking out 53 batters in 37.1 innings, a mark of 12.8 strikeouts/9 IP average.

Miller’s five wins in August tied for the most among Minor League Baseball pitchers, while his 53 strikeouts were the most among minor leaguers, and his 0.86 Walks+Hits/Innings Pitched was the lowest in Triple-A.

“Shelby has made tremendous improvements throughout this season.  It’s a credit to his hard work.  It’s gratifying to see him battle through his early season adversity and to see him have such a strong finish to his season at Memphis.”