Ben Meyer will start 2019 as a non-roster invitee in Miami Marlins Spring Training.
With the start of Spring Training upon us, we’re finishing up our offseason-long series on every player to appear with the Miami Marlins through the 2018 campaign. Ben Meyer represents the 271st article of the series, of 286 in total.
Benjamin K. Meyer is a 6’5″, 180 lb. right-handed batting and throwing pitcher from Minneapolis, Minnesota, population 422,331. Thirty-six players that have origins in the city have eventually graduated to major league careers, including Kent Hrbek, Chris Reitsma, and former Florida Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson.
After attending Totino-Grace HS, Meyer attended the University of Minnesota for four seasons of Division I ball. In 70 contests for the Golden Gophers, including 24 starts, he struck out 220 batters in as many innings, while holding the opposition to a 1.19 WHIP. Following his senior season in 2015, the Miami Marlins selected him in the 29th round of the MLB Amateur Entry Draft. As an 866th overall selection, Meyer is the first member of the “866 Club” to reach the major leagues.
Meyer was born on January 30th, 1993, and reported to the GCL Marlins in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League on June 22nd, 2015. After striking out three and allowing only one baserunner over his first three innings, he was pushed up three levels to the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League. In 11 contests with them, he allowed an opposing slashline of .267/.370/.314, giving up 23 hits and 12 walks in 22 2/3 innings.
Sent back to the GCL Marlins for a pair of games in late-August, Meyer struck out five and allowed just one hit over four innings. He closed out the season with the full-season-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League, striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings.
In 2016, Meyer remained with the Grasshoppers for the entire campaign, making 10 starts and coming out of the bullpen on 23 occasions to rank second on the club with 33 appearances. He pitched a team-second 97 innings and struck out 94 while walking only 21 batters, posting a solid 1.175 WHIP.
Meyer seemed to turn a corner in 2017, splitting his time between the Grasshoppers and the Hammerheads. He started in 12 of his 32 appearances in total, striking out 134 batters in 111 1/3 innings. That’s a 10.8 K/9 rate, along with a 0.934 WHIP that’s highly indicative of future success at the major league level. Here’s Meyer after the regular season, in an outing for the Arizona Fall League’s Salt River Rafters courtesy of Baseball Census.
2018 would open for Meyer with the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Pacific Coast League. On four different occasions over the course of the season, he was called up to the Miami Marlins. For New Orleans, Meyer was 5-4 with a 4.24 ERA in 15 games, including 11 starts. He struck out 49 in 63 2/3 innings, and finished with a 1.35 WHIP.
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Meyer’s major league debut, on June 7th, would see him pitch a perfect inning in a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. He came in with a runner on first, then got out Tommy Pham, Jedd Gyorko, and Marcell Ozuna on six pitches. On July 15th, he had his best appearance of the season, when he struck out two in a perfect ninth inning of a 10-5 win against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Meyer’s overall numbers weren’t very good, unfortunately. He struck out only nine in 19 innings of work, while allowing 26 hits and walking 14 for a 2.105 WHIP, a 6.42 FIP, and a 36 ERA+. He begins the 2019 season as a non-roster invitee with the Miami Marlins.
Make sure to check back here later for part 272 of the series, with Samuel Castro.