Meyer awaits Marlins' call after dominant spring

March 29th, 2022

JUPITER, Fla. -- A week from Tuesday, the Marlins will break camp before heading to San Francisco for Opening Day. A few hours later, right-hander Max Meyer will start Triple-A Jacksonville's season opener.

Meyer, who was reassigned to Minor League camp on Sunday, continues to dominate hitters. In his final tuneup, he struck out seven batters across five perfect innings against Astros prospects on a back field at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex.

If MLB Pipeline's No. 35 overall prospect keeps performing at this rate, it's only a matter of time before he receives a callup to The Show. Meyer isn't on the 40-man roster, and Miami's rotation is all but set with Sandy Alcantara, Pablo López, Trevor Rogers, Elieser Hernandez and Jesús Luzardo. Still, Miami used 18 starters last year due to injuries, so the club likely will have to turn to its depth at some point.

"I mean, we'll see what happens, but I think I'm ready," Meyer said.

This spring marked Meyer's second big league camp, though he didn't make his Grapefruit League debut until this past March 21. In that outing, he pitched four perfect frames against the Mets.

"It was fun," Meyer said. "That first game felt pretty good out there. It's easy when you've got really good 'D' out there, too, and you can just trust all your stuff, just pound the zone. My experience at camp, too, was really fun, and all the guys were welcoming. So it's just fun to be around that environment."

There have been rumblings on Marlins fan Twitter about moving Meyer to the bullpen, which has some spots to fill, since he appears to be close to big league ready. During his freshman year at the University of Minnesota in 2018, Meyer collected 16 saves. The following season, he pitched in 16 games (11 starts) and recorded two saves as he began the transition to a starting role.

One element of Meyer's game that would expedite his Major League debut is the development of his changeup. Meyer's fastball (60 grade) and slider (65) are considered elite, while his third offering is a work in progress with a 50 grade on the 20-80 scouting scale. During Tuesday's outing, Meyer turned to the pitch more often than usual.

Asked if he sees himself as a starter, Meyer replied: "Yeah, I mean, I'm a starter. If they need me, if I'm the best option to help the team win, I'm ready to do anything that it takes. But I'm a starter right now."