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District on Deck's 2012 Top 15 Nationals Prospects: #6 Alex Meyer

Image courtesy: kyforward.com

Name: Alex Meyer

Date of Birth: January 3, 1990

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Height: 6’9″

Weight: 220

Meyer was originally drafted by the Washington Nationals in 2011. He was the 23rd selection of the 1st Round out of the University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY). The University of Kentucky hasn’t produced a great deal of notable Major Leaguers in the past, but has been responsible for a handful of quality pitchers who have reached the Majors, including Brandon Webb and Joe Blanton. Meyer had been drafted out of high school in 2008 (20th Round) by the Boston Red Sox but elected to fulfill his collegiate commitment instead of signing.

Meyer was the organization’s second selection in the 1st Round in 2011, compensation for the loss of Adam Dunn through free agency the offseason prior. He did not sign until just prior to the August deadline (for a bonus of $2 Million), too late to participate with any of the organization’s minor league affiliates prior to the season coming to a close.

Top Prospect Rankings

Baseball America (Top 10): 6th

MLB.com (Top 10): Unranked

FanGraphs (Top 15): 4th

Seedlings to Stars (MLB Top 100): Unranked

DoD Editor Aaron Somers (Top 15): 7th

DoD Staff Writer Michael Natelli (Top 15): 8th

DoD Staff Writer Andrew Flax (Top 15): 8th

Scouting Report

Courtesy of Marc Hulet at FanGraphs:

Because he’s so big (6’9″, 220) Meyer may always struggle to repeat his delivery, which will hamper his command and control. He should still be able to overpower hitters, though, thanks to a 95+ MPH fastball and wipeout slider. His changeup isn’t bad either, although he hasn’t used it a lot.

The Positives

The big framed right-hander has two solid pitches, a slider and a fastball, and possesses strong control of both. Baseball America named Meyer as having the “Best Slider” in the entire Washington organization.  His fastball also reaches the mid-90s consistently, giving him a pair of quality out pitches once he is able to get ahead of hitters.

The Not-so-Positives

Mechanically Meyer does have a few things to work though. His big frame, while a positive, also hinders his delivery. He’ll need to learn some more consistency in his arm angle in order to maintain his effectiveness. By most accounts he also possesses a strong changeup, though it is rarely used. Continued development of the pitch will lead to an increased confidence in it, potentially meaning the difference to where Meyer ultimately ends up (rotation vs. bullpen).

2012 and Beyond Expectations

Boston had made a strong push to sign Meyer after drafting him in 2008 but the right-hander seemed to make the smart decision by attending college instead. He did struggle in his first two collegiate seasons, but a strong 2011 rushed him up many draft boards and he is now a National. By all accounts, it seems likely that Meyer will be slated to begin the 2012 season in High-A, teaming with Robbie Ray and Matt Purke to give the team a fairly formidable rotation at the start of the season.  How his development continues going forward will go a long ways towards projecting where he will ultimately end up for Washington. Some scouts believe he could be a #2 or #3 starter, while others seems to envision him moving into a bullpen role, pitching high leverage innings at the end of games. For now, it would seem the Nationals organization plans on developing Meyer as a starter, especially in light of the recent Gio Gonzalez trade that ultimately diminished some of the pitching depth the organization possessed.

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