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Thread: Alex Meyer - 2014

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    Alex Meyer - 2014

    Personal Information:
    Name: Alex Meyer
    Birth date: January 3, 1990
    Position: SP
    Height: 6'9"
    Weight: 220
    Bats: Right
    Throws: Right
    High School: Greensburg, IN
    College: University of Kentucky

    Professional History:
    2011:
    Meyer was drafted with the 23rd overall pick by the Washington Nationals in the 2011 Draft. Going into the draft he was rated #19 by Baseball America and #9 by Keith Law on ESPN.
    He signed too late after the 2011 draft to pitch professionally in the 2011 season.

    2012:
    Meyer started his professional career as a 22-year-old in low-A Hagerstown in the Nationals farm system. He started 18 games there, and he showed the ability to miss bats while having decent control, averaging 9.7 SO/9 and 3.09 SO/BB. He was promoted to high-A Potomac for the final 7 games of the season, and continued his good performance: 10.7 SO/9 and 3.15 SO/BB. Overall, he pitched 129 innings between the two levels, with an ERA under 3.00 and a .211 batting average against.

    He was acquired by the Twins from the Nationals in exchange for Denard Span on November 29, 2012

    2013:
    The 2013 season started out with Meyer making every major top-100 prospect list:
    #40 MLB.com
    #59 Baseball America
    #61 ESPN
    #63 Minor League Ball
    #78 Fangraphs
    #88 Baseball Prospectus
    Within the Twins organization he has battled with Kyle Gibson for title of best pitching prospect, and has been ranked as anywhere from the Twins's 3rd to 6th best prospect.

    Meyer was assigned to AA New Britain to start the season. He pitched well during the first half of the season, and through June 1st he had thrown 61 innings over 11 games with a 3.69 ERA, 10.8 SO/9 and 2.7 SO/BB. It was at this point the Meyer was put on the disabled list for a sore shoulder. He was on the DL for over 2 months, and after three rehab starts in the Gulf Coast League, he was re-activated on August 24th. He was able to get two more starts with New Britain before season's end, throwing 9 innings of shutout ball with 11 strikeouts and just 2 walks.

    Meyer was selected for the Arizona Fall League and was able to get an additional 26 innings over 7 starts. He was one of the best pitchers in the league, as he finished with a 3.12 ERA and 28 strikeouts against just 7 walks.

    Overall, Meyer pitched 104.1 innings for the 2013 season.

    2014:
    Once again, Meyer was named to every top-100 prospect list, and in most cases moved up considerably:
    #23 Fangraphs
    #28 MLB.com
    #32 Baseball Prospectus
    #45 Baseball America
    #62 ESPN
    Within the Twins organization, he was basically the consensus #3 prospect after Buxton and Sano.

    Meyer has been assigned to AAA Rochester.

    Who he is, and where he is going:
    Scouting Report:
    The scouting report with Meyer starts with his stuff. Using his tall, lanky frame, he is able to generate serious heat on his pitches. He easily sits in the mid-90s with his fastball throughout his starts, and has been clocked in the triple digits from time to time. His breaking ball is also very effective, and he uses it against both right-handed and left-handed hitters. His change-up is okay, but improving. Scouts are now saying it is average and occasionally above-average, which is an improvement from where he was at with that pitch even a year ago.

    Meyer has the stuff of a front-line starter in the majors. What will ultimately determine if he reaches that ceiling is his control and durability. Being a tall pitcher, Meyer has struggled with his command and control. Often it varies from inning to inning, as well as start to start. Fortunately, his stuff is so good that he can get away with occasional lapses in command, but in order to become a true Ace pitcher, he will need to tighten up his control. Similarly, there are questions about his durability. Due to general caution about his innings in 2012 and his shoulder injury last season, Meyer has yet to pitch more than 130 innings over an entire season. To put that in perspective, Trevor May has pitched three consecutive seasons with at least than 150 innings, including 165 last year. So there are some lingering questions about Meyer's ability to be to handle a full-time starter's workload (30+ starts, 200+ inning).

    Outlook for 2014:
    There are two major questions about Meyer for this season. First, how long until he is called up to the majors? Second, what will the Twins do (if anything) to limit his innings?
    Meyer is starting the season in AAA. If he is pitching well, I have no reason to think that he won't be the first call-up if one of the current starters is out for an extended period of time. (I'm guessing Diamond gets the call if a spot-start is necessary.) However, he did only pitch about 104 innings last year, and in general teams are very leery of significantly increasing the workload on young arms from season to season. Just as we were all counting Kyle Gibson's innings last year, I'm guessing the same will happen with Meyer.

    Worst case / Best case:
    As with every pitcher, the worst case is a catastrophic arm injury. That aside, I think the worst case for Meyer is that he ends up with minor durability issues throughout the season, this could end up forcing a move to the bullpen. I don't think that is likely at this point, but it is still a possibility. Personally, I'm much more concerned about the durability questions than the command/control issues at this point. In general, I feel the command and control will continue given enough time, and since he has such great stuff, his command/control doesn't need to be perfect, or even great, for him to be an effective major league pitcher. I just needs to be okay to good.

    The best case is that his command continues to improve, and he is able to pitch the full season without any health issues. If he can stay healthy, pitch 150+ innings, and pitch well enough to merit a mid-season call-up; I think that would be a hugely successful season.

    When will he join the Twin?
    Soon. A lot depends on the effectiveness of Meyer as well as on the health and effectiveness of the five starters currently with the Twins. It could be as early as Memorial Day if Gibson implodes. It could be as late as September if everyone is healthy and pitching well. My guess is that Correia will be traded in June/July, and Meyer will be called up at that point to finish out the season. Injuries could definitely change that equation, but that is my best guess.

  2. #2
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    4/6
    After being pushed back for a couple of days due to weather, Alex Meyer was finally able to start the 2014 season. He made the start against Buffalo. Though Rochester would end up losing the game in extra innings, Meyer pitched fairly well. He pitched five innings, giving up three runs (only two earned) while striking out six. He also gave up one walk and three hits, though one of the hits was a home run.

    Overall, it wasn't his most dominant performance, but still very solid and a great way to start off the season.

  3. #3
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    I'm a couple of starts behind right now. Sorry everyone.

    4/12
    Again Meyer's start was pushed back a day due to a weather postponement. He pitched well, going 5 1/3 innings. He gave up 3 runs (only 1 earned) to go with 5 strikeouts and no walks. Fellow member Thylos was at the game and provided a great writeup and scouting report.
    http://twinsdaily.com/content.php/28...t-I-Alex-Meyer

    4/18
    Meyer started against the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals AAA team) last night and pitched one of his worst starts as a member of the Twins organization. He pitched just 3 2/3 innings and allowed 10 batters to reach base: 5 hits, 4 walks and a hit batter. He only had 2 strikeouts and gave up a home run.

    There are a couple of worrisome trends so far this year. First, Meyer was an extreme ground-ball pitcher last year, with a GB/FB ratio of 1.5. This season, that ratio is inverted as it is now only 0.64. Second, his swinging strike percentage has dropped from 9.2% in 2013 (think Justin Masterson) to 7.6% so far this year (think Kyle Lohse). Hopefully this is just small-sample-size noise rather than a change in performance. But it is something to keep an eye on going forward.

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    4/23

    Alex Meyer had by far his best start of the season. He pitched into the 7th inning, giving up only 3 hits and 3 walks, no runs, and 11 strikeouts. Yes. 11 strikeouts! In many ways, this is a "classic" Meyer start: lots of strikeouts, lots of swinging strikes (12%), and lots of ground balls (8 GB, 3 FB). Scouting reports said that his velocity was great, as he was consistently in the upper- to mid-nineties with his fastball.

    Hopefully the first few starts were an aberration, and he is now back on track.

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    4/28

    It seems that Meyer is back on track. His start last night was another gem: 6 shutout innings, 11 strikeouts, only 2 hits. Again, he managed to get a lot of swinging strikes and a fair number of ground balls.

    Here are a few articles about his start:
    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/min/...&vkey=news_min
    http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/W..._TripleA042314

    There has a fair amount of discussion that Meyer has a new changeup that he's using. If anyone finds some scouting reports on it, please post them here.

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    5/4

    Meyer had a bit of a hiccup yesterday, as his overall line did not end up very good:
    4 2/3 innings, 4 ER, 5 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts. Meyer cruised through the first three innings, but he ended up having trouble getting out of both the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, he gave up a home run and a walk with two outs, and in the fifth he gave up a walk and a double with two outs before being taken out of the game.

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    5/10

    Meyer had another bad start, this time against the Toledo Mud Hens.

    Though his final line was bad (4 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 2 K), it looked bad primarily due to one bad inning. In the bottom of the second inning he gave up 5 runs, 4 hits and a walk, but there were also 2 errors behind him and a wild pitch. He didn't necessarily help himself during that inning, but he was also victimized by things outside of his control.

    So far his walk rate is higher than it was last season, as he has now walked at least three batters in each of his past 5 starts.

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    5/15

    Meyer pitched 5 no-hit innings last week. He racked up 7 strikeouts, but also issued 4 walks. This is now 6 straight games with at least 3 walks. Strangely, he was pulled after only 79 pitches. I hope everything is okay - I haven't heard anything regarding an injury.

    His walk rate is still pretty high, sitting at 12.1% (it was 9.7% last year). His strikeout rate basically identical to last season (28.2%), and he is second in the International League in strikeout rate behind... Trevor May (29.1%). Unfortunately, Meyer also has the 3rd highest walk rate.

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    Nice writeup from John Sickels about Meyer:

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2014/...innesota-twins

    Here is the wrap up quote:

    "Meyer has the stuff to be a number one starter, but enough doubt remains about his command for us to project him more as a number two or strong three. The Twins usually promote their prospects slowly and Meyer hasn't consistently dominated at Rochester to the extent that would force their hand ahead of schedule. That said, we will most likely see him later this year, and he certainly has the natural ability to find immediate success once that happens."

    Please read the whole thing.

  10. #10
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    Two starts to catch up on.

    5/22

    Meyer pitched into the 6th inning. He gave up only 1 run, 6 hits, struck out 5 and issued only 2 walks. This was the first game he had issued less that 3 walks since his 2nd start of the year. He was pulled in the 6th inning with the bases loaded after allowing 4 straight batters to reach base, including two via walks. Fortunately, the bullpen was able to get out of the inning with no further damage. He ended up throwing 88 pitches.

    5/28

    Meyer pitched a very solid game last night. He completed 6 innings, throwing 85 pitches. He gave up 2 runs (only 1 earned) on 3 hits and 3 walks, and was able to strike out 8 batters.

    This is basically the timeframe last year when Meyer was shut down. They have limited his workload (innings and pitches) a bit this year compared to last season - averaging 5.1 IP & 85.2 pitches this year versus 5.4 IP & 90.6 pitches last year. Hopefully he will continue to be healthy going forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markos View Post
    Two starts to catch up on.

    5/22

    Meyer pitched into the 6th inning. He gave up only 1 run, 6 hits, struck out 5 and issued only 2 walks. This was the first game he had issued less that 3 walks since his 2nd start of the year. He was pulled in the 6th inning with the bases loaded after allowing 4 straight batters to reach base, including two via walks. Fortunately, the bullpen was able to get out of the inning with no further damage. He ended up throwing 88 pitches.

    5/28

    Meyer pitched a very solid game last night. He completed 6 innings, throwing 85 pitches. He gave up 2 runs (only 1 earned) on 3 hits and 3 walks, and was able to strike out 8 batters.

    This is basically the timeframe last year when Meyer was shut down. They have limited his workload (innings and pitches) a bit this year compared to last season - averaging 5.1 IP & 85.2 pitches this year versus 5.4 IP & 90.6 pitches last year. Hopefully he will continue to be healthy going forward.
    Overall his numbers this year, 52.2 IP, 3.31 ERA, 62 K. He is walking batters at a clip of 4.5 per 9. Only 7 H per 9. That deadline can't come quick enough.

  12. #12
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    Really would like to know the plan for him this year. Between the minor league season and the AFL he pitched only 104.0 innings. I'm sure he threw a decent amount of simulated innings etc. that we are unaware of while coming back from injury as well but not sure if that counts or not. I'm thinking what he's got maybe 150-160 innings this year so he can shoot for 200 next season? Just a guess. Hoping he comes up fairly soon.

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    Quick update on the latest two Meyer starts from the past week.

    6/2
    Last Monday, Meyer had another so-so start. In this start against the Gwinnett Braves, he pitched only 5 innings. The first 4 innings went by smoothly, but he kind of fell of the rails in the 5th, giving up 3 hits including a double and a homer, and he hit a batter. Overall, he ended up giving up 4 runs, 7 hits, 1 walk and 1 HBP. He did have 5 strikeouts. He was pulled after 78 pitches.

    6/7
    Saturday Meyer was on his game. In a rematch of his Monday start again Gwinnett, he pitched 6 shutout innings, giving up only 2 hits and a single walk. He struck out 8. He was pulled after the 6th inning after throwing 81 pitches.

    Is Meyer going to be called up soon? My guess is no. I am guessing that the Twins front office will want to see him get back to the 100 pitch per start range before they send him up to the big leagues. This is purely speculation on my part, but I think Meyer may have had an undisclosed issue this spring. The basis for my speculation is as follows:
    - 4/23 and 4/28: Meyer pitched back-to-back scoreless outing with 11 Ks and reaching 100 pitches in both games.
    - 5/4 and 5/10: Meyer had back-to-back poor starts, giving up 9 runs in 9 innings, while walking 6, striking out only 7, and giving up 12 hits.
    - Since that 5/4 start, Meyer's pitch limit has been reduced to roughly 80. There have been several times where he has been removed from games despite being very effective and a relatively low pitch-count (like the game this past Saturday).

    Again, this is all speculation, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Twins noticed some slight reduction in stuff in the early-May time frame. Or perhaps Meyer himself was complaining about something as benign as dead-arm that many pitchers deal with early in the season. Regardless, it appears that the Twins have pulled back the reins on Meyer for the time being. The cause does not appear to be serious, as it hasn't required him to miss any starts. However, I don't think he will called up until he reaches the 100 pitch plateau again. As a comparison, Trevor May has averaged 98 pitches-per-game since May 1st.

    Also of note: Meyer and May are #1 & #2 in the International League in K%.

  14. #14
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    Catching up on the recent Alex Meyer starts...

    6/13
    Another rough start for Meyer. He only pitched two innings and gave up 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks and only 1 strikeout. He was pulled after 55 pitches.

    6/18
    Again with a short leash, Meyer was pulled after 78 pitches. He only made it through 3 innings, but this time he was much more effective. He only gave up 2 hits, no runs, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.
    Last edited by markos; 06-19-2014 at 07:43 PM. Reason: removed some incorrect information

  15. #15
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    There has been a lot of important news for Alex Meyer since my last update.

    First, Meyer has pitched in three games:
    6/23
    Another marginal start for Meyer. He wasn’t able to finish the 4th inning, lasting only 3 ⅔ innings. He gave up 4 runs on 7 hits, 2 home runs and 2 walks. And he only had 3 strikeouts.

    6/28
    A good start for Meyer. He pitched 6 innings and only gave up 3 hits and 1 run on a solo homer. He allowed only a single walk, he had 3 strikeouts, but he managed to be very efficient as he needed only 77 pitches to get through 6 innings.

    7/3
    Another good start for Meyer. Again he pitched 6 innings and only gave up 3 hits and 1 run. This time he allowed 4 walks but 7 strikeouts. He was allowed to throw 86 pitches. This is the first time he has cracked 86 pitches since May 22, and the first time he has managed back-to-back 6 inning starts since April 23 & 28.

    Second, Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America released mid-season top-50 prospect lists. Meyer was ranked on both lists:
    Baseball Prospectus: #12 (#6 pitcher)
    Baseball America: #32 (#16 pitcher)

    Third, Meyer was named as the replacement for Trevor May in the Future's Game at Target Field on July 13th. He starts tonight for Rochester, so he will be right on schedule for that game. It should be fun to see if he will air it out and hit triple-digits for the game. Though this isn't how many people expected to see Meyer first reach Target Field, it will still be fun to see him pitch on the big stage. Hopefully he will be a permanent fixture soon.


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