50 in 50: Alex Meyer

Draft : : Top Prospects
       
Published: Thursday, April 28, 2011

Alex Meyer
RHP / University of Kentucky


Bats-Throws:           R-R
Height/Weight:        6-9/220
Hometown:               Greensburg, Ind.
Previously Drafted: Red Sox ’08 (20)
Birthdate:                 Jan. 3, 1990

SCOUTING PROFILE: Scouts have been waiting patiently for two years for the 6-foot-9, 220-pound Meyer to scratch through the surface of his top-of-the-rotation potential. He has largely done that this year, posting an encouraging 4-5, 3.27 record with 36 walks and a Southeastern Conference-leading 81 strikeouts in his first 72 innings as the Wildcats ace. A year ago, Meyer was frustratingly inconsistent and went just 5-3, 7.06. In addition to a fastball that has sat at 94-96 mph and touched 97-98 in every outing this season, he actually reached 100 in a February scrimmage. His slider is a second superior pitch and has been clocked in the mid- to high-80s. While Meyer’s overall stuff has improved only marginally from his sophomore to junior year, his turnaround this spring stems mostly from significant improvement in his overall pitchability, notably the command and feel for his slider and changeup. This has been the first season, in fact, that he has been able to throw his change for strikes in a game. In what may have been the best outing of his three-year college career on April 23 against SEC rival Arkansas, Meyer earned conference pitcher-of-the-week honors by slamming the door on the Razorbacks in a complete-game three-hitter with 10 strikeouts. He threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the first 34 hitters he faced and gave up only one hard hit ball all game while pumping his fastball at a steady 94-98 mph. Most importantly, he threw both his slider and change for strikes. That game was in marked contrast to a typical Meyer outing in his first two years at Kentucky, when he struggled to throw strikes, built up high-pitch counts by the middle innings and won infrequently. Based on his pure raw stuff and intimidating mound presence, Meyer should conceivably go in the top 10 picks overall in June, but he will undoubtedly slide towards the bottom of the first round because he can still be erratic at times, and scouts haven’t forgotten that he enjoyed little success as a freshman or sophomore. But there can be no denying his dramatic overall improvement this spring, and remaining untapped potential. Meyer still needs to tweak his overall approach to pitching as hitters still get good looks at his big fastball, and his change remains mostly a work in progress. As a 6-foot-7, 190-pound Indiana high-school senior, Meyer was one of the nation’s top prep prospects for the 2008 draft, and might have been drafted in the first round had he been more amenable to signing. He lasted until the 20th round, and ultimately turned down a last-ditch bonus offer of a reported $2 million from the Boston Red Sox to attend college at Kentucky. Meyer has always had front-of-the-rotation quality stuff to go with his extra-large frame, and just needs to harness it to reach his potential.

Projected Draft Position: Late first round.

--ALLAN SIMPSON

Perfect Game Events Attended

    2006 WWBA World Championship
    2007 National Showcase
    2007 WWBA 2008 Grads or 17u National Championship
    2007 AFLAC All American Classic

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