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Updated: February 28th, 2013 10:41pm
Twins GM says prospect Alex Meyer is ‘just funky enough to be scary’

Twins GM says prospect Alex Meyer is ‘just funky enough to be scary’

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- General manager Terry Ryan has spent a lot of time watching some of the Minnesota Twins' top young pitching prospects this spring.

Just this week alone he has watched Alex Meyer pitch two innings in an intrasquad game on a side field outside Hammond Stadium, and on Thursday he drove a few miles down the road to watch Meyer face the Red Sox in a B-game at JetBlue Park.

Meyer held the Sox scoreless over two innings, striking out two and pitching his way around a leadoff double in the second frame.

"He was probably as impressive as you were hoping to see," Ryan said. "He threw hard, he's got a power sinker, he's got a power curveball, he was throwing strikes, he was competitive, he was aggressive. ...

"Meyer is just funky enough to be scary, because he is 6-9, and it is a little bit of a low three-quarters (delivery), and the ball really sinks. It's tough to throw 94, 95, 96 miles per hour with that type of sink, because when you throw that hard you'd think it wouldn't have time to sink. Well, his has power sink."

When Meyer eventually throws a pitch for the Twins -- something that likely won't happen until 2014, as Meyer has never pitched above A-ball -- he will automatically become the second tallest pitcher in team history behind Jon Rauch (6-11).

With such a large frame, many experts have questioned whether Meyer will be able to repeat his delivery often enough to be a top-of-the-rotation starter. Others have speculated that his three-quarters delivery and lanky stature will eventually lead to arm problems.

"I don't think that anybody is going to be able to predict," Ryan said. "Some guys with the worst mechanics, ultimately had the best stamina, durability and health. ...

"But you watch guys -- and (Roger) Clemens was a prime example. He looked like he was going to break down all the time, because he was such a severe short-armer. And he never broke down. I don't know how anybody can predict. If we felt like we saw something -- most of it's going to be the lower half, the landing, the balance and all that type of stuff. Your arm action usually is the arm action you started to throw when you were about four years old and started playing catch with your dad."

The Twins have had two top prospects undergo Tommy John surgery over the last 18 months -- Kyle Gibson and Alex Wimmers -- so it's understandable why there may be some paranoia.

But for now, Ryan likes what he sees in Meyer.

Hitters don't.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Jon Rauch
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