Max Meyer toed the rubber for the first time in a Marlins uniform on Tuesday. Miami’s most recent first round pick, Meyer joined the 60-man player pool after signing his contract. As part of the pool, Meyer joined the workouts in progress at the team’s training facility in Jupiter, FL.
“The juices were flowing a little bit being the first time back on the mound and especially in the Marlins uniform was pretty special,” Meyer said of the afternoon session. “It was really fun to be out there for the first time in uniform.”
Marlins first round pick Max Meyer on the field in Jupiter in a Miami uniform for the first time. He discussed what it felt like and if he thinks he could see MLB action this season. (Video via @Marlins) pic.twitter.com/GAxciXmvxg
— Will Manso (@WillManso) July 7, 2020
Max Meyer Adds Another High-End Arm to the System
Meyer became the latest in Miami’s line of high-end arms in the system. The 21-year-old sports a fastball that touches 99 miles-per-hour and tops out at 102 MPH. The “out” pitch, though, is a devastating slider. According to Keith Law of The Athletic, Meyer was “the most major-league ready player in the draft.”
Similar sentiments were echoed by Marlins director of amateur scouting DJ Svihlik. “That’s the most athletic college pitcher in this Draft, with the most electric stuff, and he’s just about Major League-ready.”
The Marlins took Meyer out of the University of Minnesota. As a member of the Golden Gophers, he posted a 2.13 ERA with 11.4 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 over 148 innings in his career. Prior to the COVID-19 shut down, he pitched 27.2 innings with a 1.95 ERA.
There were some concerns with Meyer’s size. (He’s listed at 6-foot, 185 pounds, but says he’s added weight since). But he profiles with favorable comps to former CY Young winner Tim Lincecum and 3-time All-Star Roy Oswalt.
Being associated with those names, as well as the possibility of a quick MLB debut, could be seen as added pressure, but Meyer doesn’t feel that way.
“I don’t really think about that too much honestly,” Meyer admitted. “I can’t control any of that, so I’m just gonna keep doing what I have been doing, working out, throwing. I’ll be ready for whatever happens.”
JJ Bleday Reacts to Meyer’s Bullpen Session
Meyer’s first bullpen session was limited to 20 pitches, which he said were mostly fastballs with some changeups mixed in.
Fellow top-prospect JJ Bleday stood in on a few of Meyer’s pitches and came away impressed.
“The first thing I noticed right off the bat was how athletic he is,” Bleday said. “He’s got confident body movements. He pounds the zone, and he’s pretty calm, cool, collected on the mound. As a position player that’s what I like to see out of a pitcher.
“It was just fun standing in on him,” Belday said, who never faced Meyer in college, “that was cool.”
Bleday complimented Meyer’s athleticism, saying it “speaks volumes. You don’t want to be just a pitcher, you want to be the guy that makes that play when the guy drops a bunt and he’s definitely got that ability and that athleticism.”
Much of Meyer’s athleticism comes from his experience as a two-sport athlete. Meyer grew up in Minnesota and spent his whole life playing hockey. In college, Meyer would spend his winter breaks playing hockey every day.
“It’s definitely a big part of my life and I feel like I kind of bring that bulldog mentality on the mound. I was a pretty physical player in hockey, so I kinda get fired up when I’m out on the mound.”
Among the Other Prospects
“I’ve been looking at the arms and I feel like the balls just fly out of these guys’ hands. It’s unbelievable honestly,” Meyer said of the other pitchers. “There’s definitely some good competition to throw against.”
Meyer admitted that draft day was a blur and called meeting Marlins CEO Derek Jeter “unbelievable. I’m so happy to be a part of this organization led by all these top guys up here. It’s been unbelievable.”
There’s no doubt Max Meyer features as a major part of Miami’s future, be it as a starter or closer. He joins a prolific set of pitching prospects who have the Marlins’ outlook on the rise.
“It’s a fun group of guys,” Meyers said of those in Jupiter. “They got a lot of good arms here and some good bats, so it’s gonna be fun.”
“Definitely, the juices were flowing a little, being the first time back on the mound, especially in a #Marlins uniform.”
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 7, 2020