Max attack! Marlins prospect Max Meyer dominates
By Joe Frisaro @ManOn2nd
The Miami Marlins blanked the New York Mets, 3-0, on Monday. In the win, newcomer Avisail Garcia drove in a run, as did Isan Diaz and Erik Gonzalez.
But that wasn’t the big story of the afternoon at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.
The talk of the game was the relief work by prospect Max Meyer. The right-hander didn’t allow a walk or a hit, while striking out five in five shutout innings.
The third overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, Meyer is not on the 40-man roster. He’s not expected to make the Opening Day roster.
Still, that doesn’t mean Meyer isn’t going to be part of Miami’s plans in 2022.
Meyer has a ton of talent, yet still carries some uncertainty in the eyes of the industry. There’s still questions about what role he will fill? Is he a starter or a reliever/closer? The 23-year-old is listed at 6-foot, 196-pounds, making him comparably small when it comes to type MLB starters. That raises questions about his long-term durability, and if he can handle 25-30 starts and 160 or more innings.
Some feel Meyer could be a lockdown closer, cut from the mold of Craig Kimbrel. Yet, others see Meyer as a starter.
I spoke with one of those evaluators on Monday afternoon. And he firmly believes Meyer has a three-pitch mix and stuff to be a starter.
To the Marlins, they’re developing Meyer to be a starter.
ManOn2nd asked manager Don Mattingly that question last week. Starter or reliever?
“There’s always been talk about Max, with his mix, he could be a bullpen guy, right now,” Mattingly said then. “Guys say, he can pitch late in the games, right now. But, if you listen to organizations talking, they value starting pitching.
“Right now, he’s a starter. That’s what we’re pushing for, and we’re working him towards. Is there a possibility that late in the year, this guy gets innings out of our bullpen, or innings off the mound as a starter? You don’t really know.”
On Monday, Meyer showed plenty of velocity, sitting 95-97 mph. His slider is his out pitch, and his changeup is a work in progress. Even with his dominant outing Monday, our sources said the fastball command was spotty. The slider was on point.
Meyer is ultra-competitive, and fun to watch.
His name also has been rumored in trade talks, including for Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds. MO2 has heard the Marlins have no intention of trading Meyer in a deal for Reynolds. In general, the organization is reluctant to part with any of their high-end pitching prospects.
As long as Meyer is in big league camp, he will continue to gain valuable experience. When the season starts, he probably will be at Triple-A Jacksonville, meaning he is very close to being big league ready.
“I’d say, in general, development-wise, this guy is a starter,” Mattingly said.
Promotion deal: ManOn2nd has teamed with Dugout Mugs. Get your mug today www.DugoutMugs.com/ManOn2nd