Velocity has never been the problem for Alex Meyer. On Friday night, the Angels hurler threw his hardest Major League pitch, but the results are still a work in progress.
ANAHEIM — Velocity has never been the problem for Alex Meyer. His average fastball was 95.2 MPH from 2015 to 2016, which ranked within the top 10% of all Major Leaguers over the span.
A significant speed registered on the Angel Stadium scoreboard on Friday night with the 27-year-old on the mound – 99 MPH.
The pitch was clocked at 98.7 MPH by StatCast, a new measure of recording accurate velocities and statistics within the game. It was the fastest pitch Meyer had ever thrown in his Major League career according to the statistical measuring company.
Joining the Los Angeles Angels rotation on Friday night, Meyer saw his fastball velocity range from 94 to 98 miles-per-hour, including the 98.7, and had an average speed of 96.24 MPH. Once again, velocity has never been the problem.
“I feel good, I feel healthy,” said Meyer. “If you’re throwing the ball harder and hitting your spot well you have to take advantage of that. Remember too, even if you are starting to show command just trust the ball middle-down over the plate and if you’re throwing it hard hopefully guys will hit it in the ground and get you out of the inning. Just have to have the command too.”
Meyer reiterated that he had touched triple digits in his college days, and as recently as Spring Training of 2016. Velocity has never been the problem.
In the first two innings, Meyer recorded his first six outs on 24 pitches, 17 of which were strikes. That’s a 70.8 strike rate for you mathematicians. The next five outs would come over a span of 51 pitches and 23 strikes (45.1%), and command became the problem. Velocity has never been the problem.
“I just feel like I lost control, or the release point of my breaking ball and that led me to kind of lose it with my fastball there in the third and fourth innings,” Meyer continued. “I think that’s the biggest thing, in the first I felt my command was good and where it needed to be and then kinda lose it there and had a hard time getting it back.”
After being acquired from the Twins, Meyer worked with developmental staff and rehab coordinator, Eric Munson, to become more flexible and not pull off the mound as hard as he had in the prior stages of his career. It remains in his routine still.
“I’m still doing everything I can to make sure I’m out there and throwing the ball the right way,” Meyer stated, “not pulling off, making sure I’m finishing through my target line. I felt good with it the first two innings. I thought my mechanics were as good as ever, and then lost spot on the breaking ball and then same thing with the fastball and it’s frustrating. We’ll just work on it and try and find it in the bullpen and keep going.
There’s still progress to be made for Meyer to return to his former “top prospect” status, as proclaimed by multiple outlets naming him a “Top 100 MLB…