TwinsCentric was formed by Twins super-bloggers Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, Parker Hageman and John Bonnes. Together they publish at and have authored books, e-books and magazines that provide independent and in-depth coverage of the Minnesota Twins from a fan's perspective. You can contact them at

Read more about them.

Twins Daily Top Prospects: #3 Alex Meyer

Posted by: Nick Nelson Updated: February 11, 2014 - 11:00 PM

The rarest and most coveted type of prospect in the Minnesota Twins' system has been the hard-throwing, dominant starting pitcher. Shortcomings in this area have been reflected in the big-league rotation, where a lack of front-end talent has been a primary downfall during the club's recent stretch of misery.

There is no greater need in this organization than a pitcher with the ability to develop into a legitimate No. 1 who can miss bats and regularly shut down opposing lineups. For that reason, I consider Alex Meyer the single most important prospect the Twins have, even if he's not necessarily the best (or second-best).


Heat is Meyer's calling card. That was evident when he was named Mr. Baseball in the state of Indiana as a senior in high school, finishing 8-0 with 108 strikeouts and a 0.95 ERA in 51 innings for Greensburg High School. Meyer achieved the outstanding results by relying on a hard fastball and a sharp spike curve that set him apart from his prep peers.

Following Meyer's senior year, the Red Sox tried to fish him away from a commitment to the University of Kentucky by offering him a massive $2 million signing bonus as a 20th-round pick, but the righty elected instead to join the Wildcats.

He improved his stock with three strong seasons at UK and was selected in the first round, with the 23rd overall pick, by the Nationals in the 2011 draft.


It's common for high draft picks out of college to move quickly when they reach pro ball, and Meyer was no exception. In his first season as a member of the Nationals system, he cruised through two levels of Single-A, finishing with a 2.86 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 139/45 K/BB ratio in 25 starts. Over 129 innings, he allowed only 97 hits, holding the overmatched opposition to a .603 OPS.

After putting together a great first season in the pros, Meyer soon found himself on the move, traded to Minnesota in exchange for Denard Span. His rapid ascent continued in the new organization as he headed straight to Double-A and continued to excel while piling up strikeouts at a phenomenal rate.


Though his breaking ball has drawn rave reviews as a devastating secondary pitch, and his changeup is coming along, Meyer's fastball is the star of the show. Bearing down from his sky-scraping 6'9" frame, the heater routinely hurdles toward the plate in the upper-90s with natural life, and as he's aged into his mid-20s Meyer has only added velocity.

While watching him pitch in the Arizona Fall League a few months ago,'s prospect wonk Keith Law reported that Meyer was routinely working at 98 mph with the fastball and touching 99 often. Many observers, including Law, noted that the lanky right-hander touched triple digits on multiple occasions.

That's a level of gas that the Twins haven't gotten from a starter since... ever?

Meyer was a dominant force in New Britain last year, striking out 28 percent of the batters he faced. His arsenal is almost certainly good enough to play at the highest level right now, and at 24 he has reached an age where many top prospects break into the majors if they haven't already. Let's get him up, right?

Not So Fast...

There are a few factors that will likely delay Meyer's arrival, at least a bit. The first is the logjam in the major-league rotation, created by the addition of multiple veteran free agents and the presence of three returning hurlers who are out of options.

Meyer has better stuff than anyone currently slated to be in the starting five, even by the admission of one of those five, but there's no rush to throw him in there. He hasn't pitched above Double-A and still hasn't been added to the 40-man roster, whereas there are more urgent decisions to be made on other starters in front of him.

And Meyer isn't without his own warts. He's had some command issues, though nothing too alarming.

It's fairly typical for pitchers his size to have to refine their location over time. Just look at Randy Johnson, who -- at a lanky 6'10" and 225 lbs. -- had a similar build. He had a major problem with walks early in his career before ultimately finding his release and becoming a Hall of Famer.

Meyer's control problems haven't been nearly as pronounced as those of a young Johnson, but still you get the sense that the Twins would like to see him hit his spots a little more consistently before they give him a shot.

The larger concern is health. Meyer was limited to 13 starts with the Rock Cats last year due to a shoulder injury that cost him about two months of the season. He came back and pitched well at the end of the year, carrying that over into the AFL, but shoulder soreness can be a lingering malady for many pitchers.

Meyer's durability will be a question mark until he enjoys a prolonged period of clean health, and even if he does he'll still probably be held to a strict innings limit this year after throwing only 78 frames in 2013 (about 100 if you include the AFL).

All of this means that, while Meyer is likely to make his major-league debut sometime this year, we probably won't see the full impact of his ability before 2015 at least.

Until then, the term "ace in the hole" seems more than fitting.

Previous 2014 Twins Daily Top Twins Prospects:

#10 – Trevor May
#9 – Lewis Thorpe
#8 – Jorge Polanco
#7 – Josmil Pinto
#6 – Jose Berrios
#5 – Eddie Rosario
#4 – Kohl Stewart


Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Ervin Santana signing by the Twins?

Weekly Question