MLB Draft 2011 Prospect Profile: Alex Meyer, RHP, University of Kentucky

Summary

If you want a power college arm, look no further than this big righty hailing from the Bluegrass State. Alex Meyer has been a late riser in this draft, really settling down lately and opening up some eyes in the scouting world. He's still a work in progress, probably needs some tweaking in his delivery and his control comes and goes.

This season at Kentucky, Meyer has started 11 times, striking out 91 in 78 2/3 innings while walking 38. He's only given up 61 hits this season for a .225 batting average against and just 11 extra-base hits. He's also got three complete games and one shutout. Meyer is a 6-foot-9 junior righthander from Greensburg, Indiana. If there's a worry with Meyer, it's with his arm. Not because of any issues, but because I cringe at college arms who might get overused. Meyer certainly fits that bill, having only one start this season where he threw less than 100 pitches and routinely topping 120 pitches down the stretch.

Still, he's a power arm. Those guys don't grow on trees, and he definitely has the frame to support a higher work load. The question is where do teams draw the line on scouting him. Do they believe the good that's come in the last few weeks, thinking that they can continue his growth by getting him in a professional program?

Or, do they shy away from him higher in the draft due to concerns over his erratic history?

Floor

Power arms are always useful, even if they're thrown in the Kyle Farnsworth mode. The question becomes whether injuries have a chance to wash out Meyer. There are no concerns out there on him, so my worry there is probably overblown, but his health will go a long way in determining his floor. A Jon Rauch career might be a good bottom level of his projection.

Ceiling

The upper limit for Meyer is probably somewhere in between Bud Norris and former Texas and San Diego right-hander Chris Young. Meyer is a big guy, which is to his advantage, and his power stuff can overmatch hitters. If he ends up having a career like either of those two guys, it's a pretty safe bet that whichever team drafts him will be happy. If you believe in his stuff, the scouting reports also make it sound like Meyer could be a right-handed Randy Johnson, with an intimidating fastball and ungodly breaking stuff. I am not quite that high on him.

Will the Astros pick him?  If so, where?

There's always a chance. Meyer was one of a handful of prospects that scouting director Bobby Heck mentioned to Stephen Goff back in February. Now, that doesn't mean the Astros were necessarily interested, just that Heck mentioned him as a first-round talent. Meyer has been getting a lot of buzz lately,which has sent his stock skyrocketing. No. 11 still feels a little high for me, plus I don't see Houston needing to take a lower-ceiling, higher-polish college arm (sorry Taylor).

Where is he projected to go right now?

Keith Law had him at No. 19 to the Red Sox.

Deep Leagues had him at No. 19 to the Red Sox.

Jonathan Mayo had him at No. 13 to the Mets.

Perfect Game USA had him at No. 15 to the Brewers.

Baseball America had him at No. 17 to the Angels.

John Sickels had him at No. 7 to the Diamondbacks.

Bibliography (Scouting Reports and video)

Below the jump



Baseball Beginnings

 Potential middle-rotation starter with plus arm and below-average pitchability may be better suited for lockdown bullpen role. 

Baseball America:

He's as intimidating as ever, a 6-foot-9, 220-pounder who works at 95-96 mph and can scrape triple digits with his fastball. His slider gives him a second plus-plus pitch at times, though it's still more of a chase pitch than a true strike. He also has unveiled an effective changeup.

Keith Law

Meyer's lack of track record hurts him, and even with the improved control he was walking a guy every other inning until his last few outings, but it's top-10 or top-5 stuff with No. 1 starter upside.

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