Alex Meyer is the future.
Meyer, the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft out of the University of Kentucky, is an immense, overwhelming talent, but he's still substantially far from the majors.
Let's take a closer look at the Twins' shiny new toy.
When I said "overwhelming" earlier, I meant "freaking OVERWHELMING." Meyer is a Randy Johnson-like 6'9", although the comparisons stop with his handedness. The righty can blow hitters away either with a fastball that reaches 97 mph or a power slider that hits the high-80s.
He has the makings of a true top-of-the-rotation starter.
However, there's a reason the 22-year-old (23 in January) is still a project.
The height is extremely nice, but at 220 pounds, many think he could still stand to add some bulk and power to his frame.
Moreover, his third pitch, a changeup, isn't anything to write home about. Most think it has the chance to become an average tool in his arsenal, but it's still not yet consistent enough.
Stats and Achievements
According to MLB.com, Meyer is the 50th-ranked prospect in all of baseball and immediately jumps to No. 3 on the Twins' list. None of that is surprising, of course, when you consider the amount of talent coming from Washington's farm system lately.
Meyer spent his first professional season between Single-A Hagerstown and High-A Potomac last season, where he made a combined 25 starts.
And what a 25 starts they were. He compiled an ERA of 2.86 and a WHIP of 1.101. He struck out 139 batters in 129 innings and walked just over three batters (3.1) per nine innings.
In essence, that's the perfect representation of where Meyer is right now.
When will Meyer be an All-Star?
On some days, he's going to be unfair and will strike out 11 hitters in six-plus innings, like he did on June 24. In fact, he'll probably almost always strike out at least a batter an inning. But on other days, he's going to struggle with his control and walk four in four innings.
Meyer has all the gifts necessary to be a stud at the next level. It's just a matter of honing in his control and becoming a complete pitcher.
Giving up Denard Span will be hard to swallow for most Twins fans, but this was a move necessary for the future. Expect to see Alex Meyer—who now gives the Twins a fifth prospect in the top 100—dominating major league hitters by 2014.