'I'm gonna strike everybody out': Top Marlins prospect dominates with 9 K's

May 5th, 2024

Just 41 days after being drafted, made his Single-A debut with Jupiter at Clover Park last August. Now, 259 days later, the 19-year-old returned to St. Lucie to record a career-best outing.

In Jupiter’s 4-0 victory over the St. Lucie Mets on Saturday, the top Marlins prospect twirled five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and fanning a career-high nine batters.

After walking the leadoff batter, MLB's No. 50 prospect struck out Colin Houck (Mets No. 7 prospect) on a 92.3 mph sinker, showing his mindset was on reducing walks and increasing strikeouts.

“I've been kind of struggling with walks in my recent outings and before I got drafted, that was never an issue,” Meyer said. “I kind of just had to remind myself like, 'I'm not someone who walks a lot of people. I'm someone who competes and I kind of play with a chip on my shoulder.' And I told myself I'm gonna strike everybody out and just brought that mentality on the mound and it just went as well as it possibly could.”

The 2023 first-rounder issued just two walks this outing after issuing a career-high-tying four walks in his previous start. In April, Meyer totaled 13 walks, just six shy of the total number of walks he allowed throughout his high school career. Meyer credited some of these walks to strong at-bats that he was able to limit in Saturday’s outing.

“Today, finally, I had the stuff to put [batters] away instead of throwing those long at-bats. And [it] felt great,” Meyer said.

The strength of the at-bats is something that he has noticed as a difference between affiliated professional baseball and the games at Jesuit High School he was pitching in just a year ago. However, he was able to gain some experience at the Single-A level last year, pitching for Jupiter in three regular-season games, where he posted a 3.86 ERA in seven innings with nine strikeouts.

Meyer also logged appearances in two Florida State League playoff games, where he didn't allow a run over 5 2/3 combined innings.

“It's a lot tougher for sure,” Meyer said of the talent discrepancy. “I mean, organized school baseball doesn't really compare with all these guys who are getting paid plenty of dollars to go out and hit the ball. So it was great to have some sort of experience last year, because that really helped carry over into this year. And it's good to be on the right track now versus say two months later.”

In addition to lowering walks, the right-hander is looking to work on his changeup throughout the rest of the season, as well as keeping his velocity up throughout his starts. Meyer tossed 15 changeups in his outing, yet only one landed for a strike. His velocity reached 96.2 mph on the radar off a sinker to Ronaldo Hernandez (Mets No. 20 prospect) for his sixth punchout of the game. His final pitch of the game clocked in at 95.3 mph on a called strike.

“If I could keep what I did tonight the rest of the season, that'd be perfect," Meyer said. "But I'm sure there's going to be some bumps at some point. But as long as I'm going out there with the mindset to dominate, I feel like it's going to be a good season.”