Cincinnati Reds draft profile: Right-handed pitcher Max Meyer

The MLB Draft is a few short weeks away. Let’s take a peek at one of the players sure to be on the Cincinnati Reds radar; right-hander Max Meyer.

If Max Meyer is still on the board at No. 12, the Cincinnati Reds will have a hard time passing on the right-hander from Woodbury, Minnesota. Meyer fits the profile of what the Reds may be looking for in a first-round draft pick; someone who can contribute immediately.

Now, don’t fall out of your chair. I know as well as you that the majority of players taken the draft don’t make an immediate impact at the major league level. The majority of players selected in the draft take three to four years before cracking the Triple-A roster. However, the current situation may change the Reds way of thinking a little bit.

To be clear, I’m not advocating for the Reds to select Max Meyer based on need, as that would be foolish. But, he’s well-regarded as a Top 10 player in this year’s draft, so if Meyer falls to No. 12, it wouldn’t be a reach by Dick Williams and Nick Krall.

Given the likelihood of a shortened season and the Reds putting all their eggs into the 2020 season basket, why not target a player that could help you immediately. If that’s what you’re looking for, a college pitcher is the answer.

Meyer, along with fellow hurlers Asa Lacy (Texas A&M), Emerson Hancock (Georgia) and Reid Detmers (Louisville) fit the bill. Lacy and Hancock will be long gone before Cincinnati makes their first-round selection, and Detmers has been rising up the draft boards recently. There’s the possibility that all four are gone when the Reds pick twelfth.

After last year’s selection of Nick Lodolo, who stands 6’6″, adding the 6’0″ Meyer would be a contrast in size for sure. However, don’t let Meyer’s diminutive frame fool you, in the shortened college baseball season, the right-hander owned the lowest ERA (1.95) on the team and struck out 46 batters; good enough for fifth in the country.

Meyer’s slider is his bread and butter. He can run a fastball up to the dish in the mid-to-upper-90s and follow it up with a breaking ball that touches 91-MPH. In 2017, Meyer led the nation in saves as a freshman with 16.

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While Meyer projects as a starter, if the Reds take him with the 12th pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, his use during the season would be a reliever. Again, I’m not saying that’s what will happen or even should happen, but it’s definitely a possibility.

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