Late Thursday night, the Miami Marlins announced the call-up of right-hander Max Meyer. It’s a long overdue move for MLB Pipeline’s number 3 prospect in the Marlins organization, who has had a great 2022 season with AAA Jacksonville. He will be inserted into their starting rotation immediately, according to Craig Mish of SportsGrid, debuting Saturday against the Phillies.
The Marlins shared this video of Meyer learning of his promotion from Jumbo Shrimp manager Daren Brown:
Meyer was selected by the Marlins with the 3rd overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. Many were shocked by the decision considering that a more highly regarded college arm, Asa Lacy, was still on the board at the time.
From the get-go, Meyer has justified the Marlins’ faith in him with dominant performance. He made his official minor league debut in 2021 with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, posting a 2.41 ERA with 113 strikeouts in 101 innings. Pensacola’s season came to an abrupt end due to COVID issues, so Meyer was sent up to AAA for a pair of solid starts.
Despite the success, Meyer was not a finished product when 2022 rolled around. In his one and only Grapefruit League spring training appearance, he did not allow a hit in 4 innings pitched against the New York Mets while striking out 5 batters who all were major leaguers. But the Marlins wanted him to continue developing his changeup and didn’t seriously consider him for an Opening Day roster spot.
Meyer returned to AAA Jacksonville and quickly began showing that he’d become a complete pitcher. If not for an injury he suffered in mid-May (ulnar nerve irritation), this opportunity would have come even sooner.
Max Meyer’s 2022 AAA stats: 3-4, 3.88 ERA, 58.0 IP, 1.000 WHIP, 65 SO, 19 BB
Listed at 6’0”, 196lbs, Meyer possesses an amazing slider, above-average fastball velocity and the aforementioned changeup. Prior to this year’s IL stint, he had no history of arm injuries. This is his age-23 season. A good MLB comp for Meyer is José Berríos of the Toronto Blue Jays who is also “undersized” by MLB standards but uses a special breaking ball of his own.
Pitching has actually been the strength of the Marlins recently in helping them go 9-5 in July so far. The decision to call up Meyer anyway shows that the organization is in a competitive mindset, willing to put the most talented players on the field to give them their best chance of maintaining these winning ways.
We have to wait until Saturday to find out what the corresponding move will be to add Meyer to the Marlins active roster.