College | Story | 2/29/2020

College Notebook: February 28

Patrick Ebert         Vincent Cervino         Connor Spencer         Steve Fiorindo        
Photo: Max Meyer (Minnesota Athletics)

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Players covered: Max Meyer (Minnesota), Bryce Jarvis (Duke), CJ Van Eyk (Florida State), Clayton Beeter (Texas Tech), John McMillon (Texas Tech), Jakob Brustoski (Texas Tech), Andrew Devine (Texas Tech), Adam Seminaris (Long Beach State), Devereaux Harrison (Long Beach State), Carlisle Koestler (Mississippi State).

Max Meyer, RHP, Minnesota
Taking the mound for Minnesota against a ranked North Carolina team was Max Meyer, a live-armed righthander who did not disappoint with a dominant effort. It was clear Meyer had his good stuff working early, and that led to a quick and efficient first inning. His first fastball hit 94 mph and he touched 97 twice in the frame, along with a 96, showing off his electric right arm. He also threw a 90 mph slider, a pitch that peaked at 91 several times during the game.

What was most interesting about his outing is that quite often he used his fastball as his third pitch. In the third inning in particular he only threw two fastballs, mixing well between his upper-80s to low-90s slider and his mid- to upper-80s changeup. The slider could very well be his best pitch, thrown with the same arm angle and action as his fastball only to violently drop off the table while being thrown harder than most people throw their fastballs. It has sharp two-plane break and is a pitch he gets a lot of whiffs over the top of it.

While the changeup does has some run and fade at times, other times it works as an effective slow ball, again being thrown with the same arm speed as his fastball but thrown 8-10 mph slower, with most of them being clocked in at 86-88 in this contest. In that third inning of work he worked almost exclusively off of his slider and changeup, sequencing between the two pitches, which are in a similar velocity band, to get a lot of ugly swings and weak contact.

Later in the game he went back to sequencing between his fastball and slider, something he did effectively well to lefthanded hitters. Working on the first side of the rubber he did a great job catching the inside corner with his fastball before spotting his slider in the exact same spot, only to have it drop below the fastball target, quite often with a bat swinging over the top of it. Interesting enough, when he was hit in this contest the hardest contact came from righthanded hitters off of his fastball. Aaron Sabato in particular was able to slice a 96 mph offering down the right field line for a double.

By the later innings his fastball sat right at 95 mph, touching a few 94s and 96s while maintaining his velocity very well. He struck out Sabato late in the game looking, catching the insider corner with a 90 mph slider. When it was all said and done Meyer ended up going the distance, picking up his second win of the season (2-1), allowing just one run on five hits and a walk while striking out 14, easily solidifying himself as a premium pick for this year’s draft despite his smaller stature.

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