Alex Meyer knew he was going to be allowed to throw more pitches than is typical for an outing in the Arizona Fall League. He made good use of almost all of them.
"They told me my pitch count would be high," he said. "For me to be able to go out there and throw that many was good."
The Twins' top pitching prospect allowed only one hit -- a one-out double in the sixth -- over 5 2/3 innings on Friday night as Glendale blanked Scottsdale, 1-0.
"My fastball was really good for me today. I was kind of effectively wild early on, but then I was able to settle down," said Meyer, who fanned seven, walked one and threw 48 of 76 pitches for strikes. "I had some good movement on my fastball and, when I have that going, I'm able to get ahead of hitters. My changeup was good for me and my curveball was good, too. When I have all three going, it makes it easy."
Meyer, who was acquired from the Nationals for outfielder Denard Span last November, retired his first 10 batters -- getting seven on ground balls or strikeouts -- before walking Braves No. 14 prospect Tommy La Stella on five pitches in the fourth.
The 23-year-old right-hander struck out two in a perfect fifth and got Cam Maron (Mets) on a fly ball to center field leading off the sixth. Yankees prospect Addison Maruszak then laced Meyer's 2-1 offering the other way for a double.
"It was kind of frustrating," Meyer said. "He had a good at-bat the first time. I got ahead of him with my fastball and then I threw two changeups. I got behind and he probably knew a fastball was coming. I left it out over the plate a bit and he was able to put a good swing on it."
The University of Kentucky product is 2-0 with a 2.74 ERA in six AFL starts. Over 23 innings, he shares the league lead with 25 strikeouts.
"They're the best lineups that I've ever faced," Meyer said. "The main thing for me is going to be getting my innings; I want to get as many as I can. When it's all done, I'll sit back and reflect. But I think I'm making progress with my fastball command. I've got one more start, so we'll see where it takes me."
After Maruszak doubled, Meyer struck out second-ranked Yankees prospect Mason Williams and handed the game over to fellow Twins prospect A.J. Achter (1-1), who got La Stella to bounce out and went on to work a perfect seventh.
Achter's last out was the only play to be reviewed under the AFL's video replay experiment. Braves prospect Robby Hefflinger was called out after grounding to second base, and the call stood.
Top Giants prospect Kyle Crick struck out five and gave up one hit over three innings for the Scorpions.
"He has as electric stuff as anybody out there," Meyer said of Crick. "I saw him in the Sally League last year when I was with Hagerstown. He chewed us up two times in one week, actually. I watched him tonight and he was in the upper 90s with a wipeout slider and a really good changeup. You knew you'd have your hands full with him."