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All American Game  | Story  | 8/4/2022

Meyer Makes The Jump To The Classic

Blake Dowson     
Photo: Noble Meyer (Perfect Game)
West Linn, Oregon’s Noble Meyer was due for a bump in the rankings heading into his appearance on the mound at Perfect Game’s National Showcase.

The right-handed pitcher has thrown well in every PG event he has played in, but hadn’t pitched in one since the West MLK Championship back in January. He was sitting 89-93 mph with his fastball at that event, and threw 3 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball with four strikeouts, earning MV-Pitcher honors.

There were expectations that Meyer would carry that momentum – and the momentum he had gained in the 6 months following West MLK – into PG National.

Meyer exceeded expectations.

With his fastball topping out at 98 mph and sitting at 95-97 mph, Meyer struck out the side in both of his innings, utilizing a 3,000+ RPM slider and fading changeup along with his heater to punch out hitter after hitter.

That rankings bump Meyer was due for? How does moving from No. 126 overall in the class to No. 2 overall, Noble?

“That blows my mind,” Meyer said. “Growing up, I admired those guys who were at the top of the rankings. I never really thought I’d be up there. So seeing that blew my mind. It’s crazy.”

Perfect Game’s Brian Sakowski had a front row seat at Tropicana Field for Meyer’s performance at PG National. He thinks Meyer has the total package as a prospect – projectable 6-foot-5 frame, explosive arm, slider with plus-plus sweep, running changeup, all wrapped up in a pitcher who throws with confidence on the mound.

Add all that up, and Meyer’s new ranking makes sense. It also makes sense that he’ll head to Phoenix later this month to participate at the Perfect Game All-American Classic, a dream of his since he watched Mick Abel, an alum of Meyer’s Jesuit High School in 2020, pitch in the 2019 edition of the Classic.

“My freshman year, Mick Abel was an All-American,” Meyer said. “I looked up to him. I just remember thinking, ‘Wow, that would be awesome if I could get into that event.’ It’s the coolest event ever. It’s amazing to think that I’m here now.”

Meyer credits the work he’s put into his slider for his success in the past year. He’s really been in the lab with it, studying spin, grip, approach angle, and other metrics that sound more like aeronautic research than pitching workouts.

Elite sliders are elite because of the amount of spin the pitch produces. A slider with 3,000 or more RPMs is rare to find at the amateur level, and is considered elite.

“I’ve done my best to make it an elite pitch,” Meyer said of his slider. “Right now, it’s at about 3,200 RPMs, which is insane…I’ve worked on finding a grip that’s comfortable. I have confidence in it.”

A mechanical change and some added weight led to the bump in velocity in the past six months, from the low-90s bullets he was tossing in January to the upper-90s heaters at PG National.

Meyer said he feels more efficient in his motion now, which has led to more power.

More spin, more velo, more power, more hitters walking back to the dugout shaking their heads.

“I’ve been working on keeping my arm path cleaner and getting to a stronger point earlier in my delivery,” Meyer said. “A lot of it is getting stronger. I’ve gained roughly 10 pounds since last year.”

The command has come a long way this summer, as well. A huge uptick in stuff coupled with an ability to put the ball where he wants has turned Meyer into the top-ranked pitcher in the 2023 class.

He feels like he’s in a good place heading into the Perfect Game All-American Classic.

“I feel good about my command,” Meyer said. “It’s been the best it’s ever been. I’ve walked, I think four people in the past five months. That’s very good for me, because I used to be a rather wild pitcher.”