Right-hander Alex Meyer served up his best performance as a professional with six innings of shutout baseball Tuesday night, allowing just two hits. Meyer struck out five Hickory Crawdads and walked just one in a 4-0 Hagerstown victory in a rain-shortened affair at Municipal Stadium.
Meyer showed a 93 mph sinker and had better quality on his fastball by keeping it down in the zone, according to a club source. Meyer benefited from three outstanding defensive plays behind him and has done a good job of minimizing his pitches with the sinker.
Meyer is 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA in seven starts at home and 6-3 overall. The 23rd overall selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft is ranked as the No. 2 prospect for the Nationals by MLB.com, behind third baseman Anthony Rendon.
He has also gone 5-1 with a 2.63 ERA with 55 strikeouts in his last 10 starts. The 6-foot-9, 220-lb. pitcher has surrendered only four earned runs in his last five starts, including shutouts in two of his last three outings.
Single-A Hagerstown manager Brian Daubach told me Sunday on 106.7 The Fan's "Nats Insider" that Meyer has really come on strong the last few weeks and he is finally getting those positive results.
"He started off a little bit slow, not really repeating his delivery and didn't have his fastball command," Daubach said. "But the last six times out, he has really tightened up his delivery and been able to repeat it quite a bit. That is why you see his innings going up and his win total going up."
The Nationals love hearing this news on pitching prospects as they continue to replenish the system with the trade losses of A.J. Cole, Tommy Milone and Brad Peacock, and an injury to Sammy Solis.
Also, first baseman Chris Marrero's 2012 debut with Double-A Harrisburg was delayed because of a rain postponement against Erie.