MLB Draft 2011 Prospect Profile: Anthony Meo, RHP, Coastal Carolina

Summary

Another sleeper, Meo is somewhat of a black sheep in this draft class. He's a college power arm, but he doesn't have near the polish of the top guys, which has knocked down his stock a great deal. Now, he may not even go in the first round.

There is a lot to like about Meo, though. He's got a good fastball that flashes big speed potential. His slider is also very good and he's developing other breaking stuff. His problem, sort of like Kentucky's Alex Meyer, is that Meo doesn't show enough control consistently for teams.

Some team will take him because of his age and the ability to move quickly through a system. If they view him as a potential closer, he's very close to the big leagues right now. If you believe in his secondary stuff developing a bit, you can see the potential to throw a no-hitter in the future.

Floor

Well, the command will be the thing that matters most. Meo has struggled at times in college this season, so he's no sure bet to make the big leauges. Still, with his fastball, he'd make a fine reliever, maybe in the Kyle Farnsworth vein.

Ceiling

When I make comparisons here, it's not because I think a player will turn out exactly like Randy Johnson or whoever. It just gives you an idea of what to expect from a player. For Meo, the guy that he reminds me of as a ceiling is Nolan Ryan. His fastball is not nearly that good and he needs another pitch to go for as long as Nolan, but I bet they both have a bit of that no-hit stuff. Plus, the secret to Ryan's career is he was very erratic and had trouble with baserunners, which I have a feeling Meo might in the pros, too. What am I talking about? The obvious comp here is Bud Norris, who also flashes two pitches and had erratic command coming up. That's a good ceiling right there.

Will the Astros pick him?  If so, where?

I like the Astros chances to nab Meo in the second round. It's up in the air whether he'll still be there, but I could see a scenario breaking that way. If they take a high school arm with their first pick, Meo is exactly the type of player who could be slotted in as a fast-moving college guy, like Dallas Keuchel. In fact, the more I think about it, my dream draft scenario may be an Archie Bradley, Anthony Meo combo in the first two rounds.

Where is he projected to go right now?

Keith Law did not have him listed.

Deep Leagues had him at No. 34 to the Nationals.

Jonathan Mayo did not have him listed.

Perfect Game USA had him at No. 27 to the Reds.

Baseball America did not have him listed.

John Sickels did not have him listed.

Bibliography (Scouting Reports and video)

Below the jump

  



Baseball America

 Meo threw 91-92 mph in high school but has bumped his fastball up to 96 mph in college, regularly sitting in the 93-94 range. He's quick-armed and live-bodied at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, with a lean frame that hasn't added much weight over the years. His curveball is quick and short with downer break, and he's starting to harness the command of both pitches.

Keith Law:

Meo has a big arm, 93-96 when I saw him and flashing 97 in other weeks, and showed the ability (at times) to pound the lower half of the zone. He's got a hard slider with late bite, 86-90 mph, but doesn't control it enough right now to get advanced hitters out. He'll flash a below-average curveball and didn't show a changeup.

Baseball Beginnings

Pitching with his fastball comfortably at the corners at 91-93, he was able to elevate up to 95-96 with late giddyup when he needed to elevate the eye level. This is not poor fastball command, rather, it is using his best weapon as an out pitch.

 Moreover, Meo’s got a secondary weapon, which is more than I can say for most of the big college arms I see. He throws a hard 88 slider, which he commands low in the strike zone with late bite against right-handed hitters. He showed the ability to execute this pitch when he needed it in a game situation. So what we have here is a power arm who shows some pitch-ability.  

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