Alex Meyer went to the Arizona Fall League so he could dig deeper as a pitcher and discover some untapped talents. On Wednesday, he did just that despite lacking his best stuff.
With command wavering on his trademark fastball, Glendale's right-hander turned to his curveball and carved a swath through Peoria's lineup. He scattered three hits over 4 1/3 innings in Glendale's 4-0 win.
"My curveball was really big for me today," the Twins' No. 3 prospect said. "I didn't have my best fastball command. In the first inning, I really didn't have my best command at all.
"I was out there battling at the beginning. I was able to start finding a groove in the middle innings. Whenever I felt out of whack, I was able to go to the curveball."
Meyer (2-0) allowed a leadoff single to Houston's No. 7 prospect Delino DeShields, but retired the next three batters on a pair of groundouts and a lineout. In the second inning, he racked up two quick outs before Philadelphia farmhand Cameron Perkins singled on a ball that ricocheted off shortstop and White Sox prospect Marcus Semien's glove. After a walk to Jake Lowery (Cleveland), Meyer got Padres prospect Cory Spangenberg to fly out.
The third inning was a replay of the first with DeShields again managing a leadoff single, only to be left stranded by the 6-foot-9 hurler. Meyer delivered a 1-2-3 inning in the fourth, finishing with a lineout by Houston farmhand Jonathan Meyer. In the fifth, he hit Perkins and struck out Lowery looking. He exited after throwing 70 pitches.
Since allowing three earned runs in three innings in his Arizona Fall League debut, Alex Meyer has given up just one run in his past three outings. The native of Greensburg, Ind., slimmed his ERA to 2.92 for the fall, posting a 12-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 12 1/3 innings.
The 23-year-old said the AFL experience has proven invaluable to date.
"It's everything [I] thought it would be," he said. "These are the best hitters I've ever faced night in, night out. I haven't seen a lineup like this, one through nine. The seven, eight, nine hitters here are probably one, two, three, four, five hitters on their everyday teams.
"It's really forcing me to learn how to pitch, even when I don't have my best stuff. Because these lineups are good, but big league lineups will be even better."
For the Desert Dogs, Twins' No. 5 prospect Eddie Rosario went 2-for-4 with a run and White Sox prospect Jared Mitchell was 2-for-3. Miami's No. 4 prospect Colin Moran drove in two of Glendale's runs.