Mayo’s colleague and Baseball America’s executive editor Jim Callis suggests that the Astros’ blessed combination of Carlos Correa and Mark Appel represent the best player/pitcher combination in the game, Mayo votes for the Twins’ duo of Byron Buxton and Alex Meyer.
I don't have to go into too much detail about Buxton's tools, because we've done that many times over. Let's just say that he does everything extremely well. And as good as Correa, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 Draft, was in his first full season, Buxton accomplished much more.
Appel's overall future grade is 65; Meyer's is 60. The differentiation is in their changeups and their command. Appel has a slight edge with his offspeed stuff and a bigger one with his control. But that's it. If those are the things that would give the Astros pick the "win," I'm not sure I buy it.
Meyer has come a long way from his days at the University of Kentucky, when he couldn't find the strike zone. In his pro career, he's walked 3.3 per nine while striking out 10.4. That's a pretty good ratio, especially considering that some worried if Meyer would ever throw enough strikes. With an upper-90s sinking fastball and an above-average slider coming from a 6-foot-9 frame, he has nasty stuff, and his changeup should be a Major League-average pitch. If all else fails, Meyer could dominate out of the bullpen (while Appel will almost certainly start, which is why he's got the edge in the rankings), but all signs point to him getting every opportunity to be a starter.
For the Twins, this is a good argument to be involved. According to Mayo’s Top 100 prospect rankings, the Twins have Buxton as baseball’s top prospect with Miguel Sano just three spots behind him. Meyer does not rank as high as Appel but given Meyer’s upside says Mayo in addition to Buxton’s supreme talent provides the Twins with an advantage over the Astros.
The Astros’ just beat out the Twins in ESPN.com’s prospect guru Keith Law’s Top Farm System rankings, with Houston claiming the number one position with the Twins right behind.
(Oh, and as former Twins farm-hand Chris Cates pointed out, MLB.com originally had posted a picture of Buxton with Anthony Slama rather than Alex Meyer. Whoopsie-doodle.)