Best Sports Bust (2009)

Andrew Miller, pitcher, Florida Marlins

The Marlins paid a high price for Andrew Miller. In 2007, he was the best prospect the team landed in exchange for two franchise players: Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. A former number-six draft pick, the six-foot-six lefty had a 97-mph fastball and a wicked curve — weapons that were supposed to make him a mainstay in the Marlins rotation. But when he went to Marlins camp last year, suddenly Miller's pitches didn't have the same pop. He flashed some of that all-world potential in May only to scuffle through the following months, partly due to a bout with knee tendinitis. Still, hopes were high that the 23-year-old would make good on his promise this spring — until Miller was torched in his first few Grapefruit League outings. Maybe it's the changeup he's experimenting with or the new delivery or that knee barking, but he's running out of excuses. Remember: This is a player who was drafted shortly after Tampa Rays' all-star third-baseman Evan Longoria and just before Tim Linceum, the 2008 Cy Young Winner. The Marlins need a lefty in their rotation, and Miller's the only one within the system with the stuff to stick around.


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