With five impressive innings in his professional debut on Tuesday, Miami Marlins right-hander Max Meyer reminded everyone why he was worthy of being selected third overall in last June’s amateur draft.
Pitching for the Marlins’ Double A team, Meyer allowed only one run and one walk in five scoreless innings and stuck out five in Pensacola’s 2-1 win against Mississippi.
Meyer earned the win in his first game appearance in 404 days, dating back to his final college start for Minnesota against Utah.
Meyer — who is rated by MLB.com as the 23rd best prospect in baseball — was dazzling in front of a Pearl, Mississippi crowd of 2307, an audience that included his parents, who traveled from Minnesota to watch their son’s professional debut.
“Obviously, the standout performance was Max going five,” Pensacola manager Kevin Randel said. “He was very efficient with his pitches and seemed to get better as the game went along as well. I think it’s just his persona.
“It’s like he knows where he needs to be… and he knows where he’s going, most importantly. He never pitched in the Florida State League (High-A) or Low-A. It’s just the minor leagues to him and he feels he needs to be in the big leagues. He’s got the best stuff and that’s just how he pitches and we saw it [Wednesday].”
Meyer had a no-hitter and had faced the minimum number of batters through 4 2/3 innings before giving up a single to Jefrey Ramos. His walk to Greyson Jenista to lead off the third was erased by a double play.
His slider, considered the best pitch of any pitcher in the 2020 MLB Draft, sat between 86 and 90 mph and resulted in his first three strikeouts (all swinging). His four-seam fastball sat between 93 and 97 mph. His final pitch was a 96 mph fastball that Jenista looked at for a called third strike to end the fifth.
Meyer was on a pitch limit — either 5 innings or 75 pitches, whichever came first.
If Meyer — who signed for $6.7 million last summer — proves to be what the Marlins expect, he could be part of an immensely talented big-league rotation with Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez, Trevor Rogers, Sixto Sanchez and potentially Edward Cabrera.
Meyer, 22, went 3-1 with a 1.95 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 27.2 innings for the Golden Gophers last season before the college baseball season was cut short due to the pandemic.
Couple other quick notes from the second day of the minor-league season:
JJ. Bleday, playing center field for Pensacola, batted second and went 2 for 3 and drove in a run. Victor Victor Mesa led off, played left field and went 1 for 4. Peyton Burdick started in right field, hit third and went 0 for 3….
At Triple A Jacksonville, outfielder Jesus Sanchez and first baseman Lewin Diaz continued sizzling starters. Sanchez went 5 for 5 with a home run and four RBI in Jacksonville’s second game of the season. Diaz went 2 for 4 with four RBI….
Outfielders Conner Scott and Kameron Misner each had two hits in the second game of the season for High A Beloit (Wisconsin). Right fielder Griffin Conine - son of former Marlins outfielder Jeff Conine - tripled in three at-bats -- his first hit in the Marlins’ organization since his acquisition from Toronto in last summer’s Jonathan Villar trade.