Minnesota Twins GM Terry Ryan has a reputation for building a strong and deep farm system. Only two years after taking the Twins’ job for a second go-around, Ryan is once again beefing up their minor league rosters. Ryan’s first move of the offseason was trading starting center fielder Denard Span to the Washington Nationals for pitching prospect Alex Meyer. Initially, Twins’ fans were upset by Ryan trading away a clubhouse favorite, but upon further examination, it appears the Twins may have gotten the better part of the deal.
Meyer is a 6’ 9” righty who throws exceptionally hard. He was drafted in the 20th round of the 2008 MLB draft. After honing his skills at the University of Kentucky, Meyer elevated his draft stock and was picked in the first round of the 2011 draft by the Nationals. The 23-year-old throws a fastball in the mid to high 90‘s with a hard slider to compliment. He also throws a plus change-up and has really worked to develop good control, which probably led to his high draft stock in 2011.
In 2012 Meyer breezed through low and high A ball, compiling a 10-6 record with a 2.86 ERA. His hard stuff got him plenty of strikeouts as he averaged almost eight per nine innings. With only 45 walks in 129 innings, he showed good control–an anomaly for hard throwing righties.
Some scouts believe that Meyer’s lanky frame may lead to delivery issues and eventually control issues. But that shouldn’t be an issue as Meyer now finds himself in an organization that preaches and teaches good command. The slender righty definitely needs some more seasoning in the minors, but Twins fans can be hopeful that if he continues to develop, he could be a legitimate front end starter: a type of prospect the Twins and their fans haven’t seen in at least five years.