Scouts say he has the best pitch in the country. Teammates of his say he is the best athlete on the team.
Max Meyer is a pitcher for at The University of Minnesota and is projected to be a top 10 pick in this years upcoming MLB Draft. But, the path to potential stardom was not smooth sailing for Meyer. This is the improbable rise of how Max Meyer went from a two-way prep to a projected top 10 pick in just a few years.
In 2015 as a sophomore in high school, Meyer certainly was not the player he is today. He had almost zero interests from big name schools and was equipped with a thin 5’11” frame. It’s safe to say, this is not the ideal body frame of a division 1 pitcher.
Staying in 2015, Meyer’s arsenal featured a live fastball that was in the 80-83 MPH range. He also utilized an effective breaking ball that was sitting in the low 70 MPH range. As you may notice, these numbers don’t jump off the screen. You’re probably thinking, “How is he projected to be a first-round pick?” Well, Meyer transformed from an inning eating arm, to a top-5 pitcher in the nation in just a few years at the University Of Minnesota.
As time progressed at Minnesota, Max Meyer’s numbers improved each year and it all began in the weight room. From freshman year in college to today, Meyer has added a solid 15 lbs of muscle. The more impressive feat was the increase in velocity on his pitches. Today, Meyer now constantly touches 100 MPH on his electric fastball and has a lethal hooking slider to add.
The turning point and jump in Meyer’s career was the 2018 spring season. He led Minnesota to a dominant year which included an appearance in the Super Regional and a prestigious Big 10 conference championship. Meyer’s role that year was to slam the door shut in the back end of games as a closer. With this, he had an impressive 16 saves during the season.
Jumping ahead to 2019, Max Meyer was named to the Team USA Collegiate National Team. He led the national team with a powerful 0.69 ERA. He was also named the opening Game 1 starter in all three series. In this series, he had a dominant 13 Innings Pitched, while striking out 10 and walking two.
The impressive feats don’t end there. While a member of the Collegiate National Team, Meyer held opponents to a .174 Batting Average with runners on base. These levels of statics its are rarely touched by even major league players.
Prior to the 2020 season, Meyer was named as a First Team Pre-Season All American as a hitter and a pitcher. Only the elite are able to be this dominant on both sides of the ball.
This season, which was ultimately cut short due to COVID-19, Meyer still had an impressive résumé. On Opening Day, he was named the starting pitcher against a strong Oregon team. Meyer proved his dominance and had an outstanding day on the mound and even at the plate. In 5.0IP, Meyer had 7 Strikeouts, 1 Earned Run, 3 Walks and ultimatley earned the win. At the plate, Meyer went 1-3 a led his team to victory.
Other impressive and notable outings in this years short-cut season include a 14 Strikeout, 1 Earned Run Complete-Game against powerhouse North Carolina. Meyer also proved his dominance while striking out 15 and allowing 4 hits in 8 Innings Pitched against Utah his last outing on the season.
Max Meyer is currently the 9th overall draft prospect, per MLB.com and will potentially be able to touch a feat that no other Minnesota Gopher has touched since 16 years. Meyer will potentially be the second ever Gopher drafted in the 1st round since Glen Perkings in 2004.
It comes to no surprise that Max Meyer is ranked among the top of draft boards for all teams, and we’ll likely hear his name for a long time to come.
Photo Credit: Jaylynn Nash