Marlins draft top prep hurler Meyer at No. 10

July 10th, 2023

Earlier in the week, senior director of amateur scouting DJ Svihlik insisted the Marlins would take advantage of a deep 2023 MLB Draft of hitters unless a pitcher forced their hand.

When Noble Meyer -- considered the top prep pitcher -- remained on the board for the Marlins at No. 10, it was an easy decision for Svihlik on Sunday. Miami later selected top prep left-hander Thomas White with its Competitive Balance Round A pick (No. 35) and outfielder Kemp Alderman out of Ole Miss in the second round of the Draft (No. 47).

Meyer is the first prep arm taken in the first round by the Marlins since the Bruce Sherman-led ownership group took over the ballclub in September 2017, and the first overall since left-hander Trevor Rogers (No. 13 overall that June).

“At this part in the Draft, we really force the pitchers to bully their way to the front and push the position players out of the way,” Svihlik said. “When you're a high school pitcher, we're asking for strikes and we're asking for consistency. There's a lot of pitchers on the board that have plenty of stuff. The thing that separated Noble was just his ability to use his stuff to pitch, to throw strikes, and then do it on just a consistent basis.”

Area scout Scott Fairbanks observed every start of the 18-year-old Meyer’s senior season at Jesuit High School in Portland, Ore., a mandate from Svihlik earlier in the year should the organization consider selecting a pitcher, especially one in high school. What the organization saw reinforced the notion that Meyer was the top prep pitcher in the country following a strong 2022 summer showcase circuit.

The 6-foot-5, 185-pound University of Oregon commit became MLB Pipeline’s No. 8 prospect and the 2022-23 Gatorade Oregon Baseball Player of the Year by going 10-1 with a 0.33 ERA, 128 strikeouts and 19 walks over 63 innings and leading his team to the state championship.

“Noble Meyer is a complete pitcher,” Svihlik said. “He's very, very well balanced. He's highly technical, but he's got a great feel. He's very intelligent, but he's also very practical and logical. And he doesn't really overthink things. So there was just a wonderful balance with him.

"When you talk to him, and you interview a young man like this [at] 18 years old, you're going to see some of the things that we really, really liked about him. We do a lot of things to vet these players out beyond the baseball field.”

Meyer possesses the combination of great stuff and strong strike-throwing abilities -- something that’s rare for a high school pitcher. His mid-90s fastball consistently reaches 97-98 mph and grades out as a 60 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale. He complements it with a 55-grade slider that he considers his best pitch, followed by a changeup and a curveball.

For an organization that hasn’t had trouble developing pitching, Meyer has the makings of becoming the next elite arm in the system. It’s a “laundry list” of arms Meyer is familiar with having studied Sandy Alcantara and Eury Pérez.

On the cusp of a professional baseball career isn’t something Meyer imagined as a possibility until this time last year, when he hit 95 mph for the first time at a prospect development pipeline in North Carolina. Soon after, he lit up the radar gun at 98 mph.

That progression continued at the National High School Invitational in March. Having previously relied on a four-seamer, slider and changeup, Meyer’s curveballs consistently registered at 3000+ RPM, which would place the pitch as elite in MLB in terms of its spin rate. He credits the big jump in velocity and stuff to his mechanics.

“It kind of just happened where I really delved into baseball, like I tried to get better in any way possible -- whether that was getting stronger or looking at the numbers,” said Meyer, who was in attendance at Lumen Field along with 40 family members and friends.

“In high school, it started hitting me, once I committed to Oregon, like, ‘Yeah, I could have a path to MLB.’ And then as of last year, I really shot up, and now I could be drafted. If you had told me I would be the 10th overall pick in this year's Draft like a year ago, maybe two years ago, I would have thought you were crazy."

With an approximate pick value of $5.48 million, general manager Kim Ng is confident there will be no issues signing Meyer and making him a Marlin soon.

“Very excited about this pick,” Ng said. “First of all, I guess I would say we were surprised that he fell to us. That was great. This is a pitcher who we believe will be a top-of-the-rotation type pitcher. He's got four pitches, three of them plus. One of the things that struck me as we talked about him, watched video, was the confidence and poise that this particular pitcher has. He's just a real polished kid.”