The Minnesota Twins made some news Thursday morning, even though the NBA Draft is flooding the Twittersphere. The Twins announced the promotion of top pitching prospect Alex Meyer (1st round pick, 23rd overall, 2011) prior to Friday’s series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Meyer, 25, is a 6’9″, 225 pitcher with high regards according to MLB.com and Baseball America. Pre-2015, Meyer was ranked #62 and #29 best prospect respectively, even #14 according to Baseball Prospectus.
If you remember correctly, the Washington Nationals drafted Meyer 23rd overall in the first-round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Washington then shipped Meyer in a deal that sent Twins outfielder Denard Span to the D.C. area.
After cruising through his first three years of professional ball, Meyer had his fair share of struggles early on in 2015. As a member of the Rochester Red Wings starting rotation, Meyer couldn’t quite find his control as his ERA skyrocketed.
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After eight starts, Meyer collected an ERA of 7.09, giving up 31 earned runs over 39.1 innings pitched. Walks were an alarm as the first-round pick gave up 24 free bases. The Twins still want Meyer to be apart of the starting rotation long-term, but converted the 6’9″ pitcher to the bullpen for the short-term.
Meyer has done nothing but impress out of the pen’ for Rochester, warranting a call-up from the big club. In 17 innings pitched, Meyer posted a 0.53 ERA while holding the opposition to a batting average of just .188. Impressive to say the least. The Twins are in dire need of bullpen help, seeing their team ERA rank 22nd in the Majors at 3.81.
Walks were still a bit of an issue for the hard-throwing right-hander, issuing six over his 17 innings of work. On the other hand, the strikeouts continued to pile up. In an appearance out of the pen on June 3 against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Meyer struck out five over 2.1 innings. He did the exact same nearly a week later against Scranton, striking out five over three innings.
Meyer struck out 20 batters in 17 innings out of the bullpen.
All-in-all, the Twins needed an upgrade in the pen to go alongside All-Star Glen Perkins, perhaps serving as a set-up man down the line.