On Saturday 9/21/13, the Twins FIL squad took to the field at 9am for warmups/stretching before their game at the Hammond Complex against the Boston Red Sox at 10am.
Alex Meyer started for the Twins going 3 innings giving up no hits, 1 walk and striking out 7. Meyer looked sharp with his fastball maxing out at 98 mph and registering 93-95 mph. His slider showed flashes of really good bite at times and was good enough against the much younger BoSox lineup. What Alex worked on the most was his changeup which registered 81-84mph on the gun. It still needs worked upon and he'll be the first to tell you that, more on that later.
Outside of Meyer, the star of the game was Twins' catcher Mitchell Garver who went 3-3, a single, a triple, 2 run homer, and a sac fly. His reward...getting to run wind sprints after the game by himself for missing a sign. CK Irby threw three innings, followed by one inning by Madison Boyd and Randy Rosario, and Luke Bard who threw the 9th and the 10th. Bard was hitting 92-94mph with his fastball with modest control. The movement on his fastball is impressive but the ride and motion is so much that he can't control it all the time. Still he completely over-matched the BoSox lineup with his stuff. It went 10 innings due to the lack of the number of at bats for the BoSox players.
After Meyer's appearance on the mound, he joined the rest of the pitcher's not available for the game on the old school steel bleachers behind home plate. Meyer sat next to Wimmers who was charting and starting the game on 9/23 against the Rays at Hammond Complex. Kohl Stewart was responsible for watching the gun since he's not competing at all during Instructional League; he's there to get in the flow of MLB life and to work on fielding fundamentals. He's also pretty much a Diva and his own teammates talk about it.
For those of you who don't know, Instructional League is a rare time in baseball. Remember those times as a kid where you had ghost runners etc well Instructional League games are not that far off. At any point you can reinsert a hitter in the lineup to get him an extra at bat, you can change up the order, reinsert a player etc.
After his session, Alex Meyer joined the rest of his teammates on the bleachers where I engaged him in conversation that somehow lasted from the 6th to the 10th inning. Despite the video I took on him, he's not trying out a split finger, just wanted to know how it felt. He said he's never thrown one in a game and doesn't plan to. The biggest thing he worked on in the game was his changeup which had the BoSox prospects really off balanced with his fastball. He was really upset with himself for giving up the one walk.
Alex said when he was notified of the trade by the Nationals front office he didn't know what to say, "Do I thank him? Do I say **** off? So I just said okay." He said the trade from the Nationals was a blessing because the opportunity he was far greater. Everyone in the Twins organization has treated him great and he looks forward to contributing.
When asked about this Fall, he was really excited to see rest of this Twins core. On Buxton, he said at first he didn't know if he was just some really athletic kid with a bunch of tools but when seeing him in Spring Training, Alex said he is better than the hype. He's just so fast and at the plate he can beat you several different ways whether he takes you yard, hits it in the gaps, bunts or walks. He hopes the Twins put him on a Trout/Harper path because he think Buxton can help the big league club now.
On Rosario, Meyer said he can flat out hit and that Eddie's 5 for 5 game in New Britain was one of the best hitting displays he's witnessed in the minors. Alex said he feels comfortable on the mound with Rosario at second and that Eddie worked really hard all season on his defense. On Sano, his power is so impressive, his batting practice was a show itself. Alex says he is the closest on the team with Trevor May who will also be joining him in the Arizona Fall League. May will not join Buxton and others who will report to Instructs this week before leaving on October 2nd for Arizona.
Meyer feels the Twins are on the right path, the guys they have coming up are players who can contribute now and for the future. There was a lot more from his golf game, off-season regime, love life, being a giant, the Chicago Cubs and Kentucky baseball, I just didn't include it because it's not Twins related. Definitely a great guy who makes it hard not to root for him, I wish him nothing but success and luck in his future.