Braves star Shelby Miller named to first All-Star team

Shelby Miller’s inaugural season in Atlanta has, at the season’s halfway mark, been an overwhelming success. The announcement of the National League All-Star roster simply underscored his excellent start to his Braves career.

The 24-year-old right-hander was named to his first career All-Star team on Monday evening after posting a 5-4 record with a 2.07 ERA through his first 17 starts this season. Though his run support has been among the worst in baseball, Miller ranks fourth in ERA and 11th in wins above replacement (2.2) among qualified National League pitchers.

Miller is one of 13 pitchers on the NL All-Star team, a group headlined by division rival Max Scherzer of the Nationals, joining former Cardinals teammates Michael Wacha and Trevor Rosenthal.

He is one of seven NL pitchers making his first career appearance on an All-Star roster.

"It’s pretty awesome," Miller said. "You set goals for yourself throughout the season and (this is) one of the goals, the stepping stones that you want to have at the end of the year. I’m just grateful for the opportunity. It’s an amazing experience."

With star first baseman Freddie Freeman on the disabled list with a wrist injury and rebounding center fielder Cameron Maybin not taking on a starting role at the beginning of the year — not to mention strong NL crops of first basemen and outfielders — Miller was the obvious choice to serve as the Braves’ All-Star rep.

Miller was the MLB-ready piece acquired by Atlanta in the offseason Jason Heyward blockbuster, joining highly regarded prospect Tyrell Jenkins in exchange for the Gold Glove right fielder. The deal has paid immediate dividends for both clubs as the Cardinals lead the league in wins — Heyward has come on strong toward the end of the first half, boasting a WAR (2.0) close behind to Miller’s — and the Braves found a potential ace.

Still, with Miller under club control for the foreseeable future, it appears the Braves landed a potential building block during their rebuild-on-the-fly offseason.