In baseball there are guys like Stephen Strasburg, who pitched a total of 11 games in the Minor Leagues before being called up and being effective as a 21 year old. There’s late bloomers... And then there are guys in between like Angels’ right hander, Alex Meyer.
Meyer was drafted 23rd overall by the Washington Nationals in the 2011 MLB Draft. At the time of the draft, it was said that “He has the chance to be a top-of-the-rotation-type starter, and that should have many teams, particularly those in the second half of the first round, taking a long look at him.”
He made a name for himself with his electric mid to high-90s Fastball and rolled with it. However, his career hasn’t gone necessarily the way envisioned predraft. In 2012, He was the #50 prospect in all of baseball at the age of 22, the #32 prospect in baseball in 2013, and the #27 prospect in baseball in 2014. Since 2014, Meyer had NOT been ranked in the top 100 prospects in baseball.
He made a brief appearance in the Majors in 2015 and 2016 with the Twins and struggled mightily in both opportunities. Meyer was then sent down to the minors and struggled more. Around the 2016 trade deadline, the Angels sent LHP Hector Santiago to the Twins in a trade for struggling RHP Ricky Nolasco and Alex Meyer. Meyer was on the disabled list at the time and the Angels were taking a risk on his potential and growth.
In 2017, the Angels had high hopes for Meyer. Starting pitchers Nick Tropeano and Andrew Heaney were recovering from Tommy John surgery and out for the season. The hope was that Meyer would come out in Spring Training and earn one of the rotation spots available on the Opening Day roster. What ended up happening was Meyer struggled to a tune of a 7.20 ERA in 5 games, walking 10 in 10 innings pitched and giving up 12 hits. Obviously, the move was then to send him back down to the minors to work out his persistent command problems.
The Angels then caught the injury bug again when RHP Garrett Richards went down early in April. On April 21st, Meyer was called up and in his first two starts in the Majors he struggled even more with a 9.39 ERA. Since then, however, he has been consistently improving. In the month of June alone, he has gone 22.2 innings with 27 K and a 1.19 ERA. His consistent improvments and growth has lowered his ERA to 3.52. Nevertheless, he has walked 12 batters this month so his control problems are still clear. He is a guy who will continue to grow and continue to improve. His command should improve along with that, thus giving him more of a chance to be consistent with his pitches and outings.
At age 21, Alex Meyer was a special talent with a special arm drafted with high hopes.
Today at age 27, Meyer is a late bloomer, but nevertheless is becoming the pitcher the Nationals hoped he’d be when they drafted him, the pitcher the Twins hoped he’d be when they traded Denard Span for him, and the pitcher the Angels hoped he’d be when they took a chance on a struggling right hander with potential.
He has a chance to be special.