Why Alex Meyer is Wasting Away

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The Minnesota Twins acquired Alex Meyer in November 2012 for former starting center fielder Denard Span. Span traveled to a legitimate contender in the Washington Nationals, while the former 23rd overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft would be part of the rebuilding with the Twins. Why then is Alex Meyer wasting away?

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Minnesota traded both Ben Revere and Denard Span in a relatively short timespan. Trevor May, Vance Worley, and Alex Meyer were the names brought back in return. While May and Meyer represented two promising prospects, Worley had a less than successful season despite finishing third in the NL rookie of the year voting a season prior.

Alex Meyer though was the name Twins fans were sold on. He was one of the better prospects in baseball, a very good pitcher, and having played college baseball, seemingly making him more major league ready. Bleacher Report wrote a story suggesting the Twins had fleeced the Nationals and that Washington would regret the trade.

Unfortunately, that isn’t how it has gone to this point. Denard Span was a huge part of the summer success of the Nationals in 2014, and their eventual playoff appearance. Meyer, 24, sits in Triple-A Rochester awaiting his chance. Jack Morris said at All-Star Fan Fest over the summer “If a club doesn’t bring you up by 24, you’re probably not any good.”

Morris quickly thought about that statement as I brought up Meyer’s name. The situation here seems to be adverse. It’s not the Meyer isn’t any good, but maybe more so the Twins aren’t when it comes to promoting talent.

Looking at the 2011 MLB draft, eight of 22 players taken before Meyer have already debuted. On top of that, Meyer has logged over 330 innings in the minor leagues. He’s compiled a 3.15 ERA and a 10.4 K/9 ratio, something the Twins so badly need at the major league level, yet he has been deemed not ready.

There has been no clear indication that Meyer will be pitching for a spot in the opening day rotation when spring training opens, despite that needing to be the case. Really, there has been no urgency whatsoever.

As Minnesota looks to turn a struggling franchise around, the pieces are there for the using, but seemed to be misused at times.

Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano both should be able to make legitimate claims at the opening day roster out of spring training, but neither will likely make the team. As both players have yet to take swings above Double-A, the Twins will want to respect the process. However, for a struggling team, if they prove to be the best option, it would make sense to give them the opportunity.

Alex Meyer has a very legitimate shot at being a number one type ace pitcher in the major leagues, at least that’s what scouts expected out of him. At this time though, the same team that drafted Levi Michael, Travis Harrison, and Hudson Boyd in that 2011 MLB draft, is holding him back.

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