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Arizona Diamondbacks and the 2023 Draft: Noble Meyer

If the Snakes select a prep arm in the first round, Noble Meyer is likely the young man they take.

Name: Noble Meyer
School: Jesuit HS, Oregon
Position: RHP
Height/Weight: 6’5″, 185 lbs.
B/T: R/R
D.O.B.: January 10, 2005
Comp: Jacob deGrom, Andrew Painter


Fastball: 60 Slider: 70 Changeup: 50 Cutter: 50 Control: 55 Overall: 60

The Rundown|

In most drafts, Meyer would be a sure thing to be a top-10 selection, despite being a member of the most suspect group in MLB drafts, right-handed prep pitchers. Despite the depth of this year’s draft, Meyer still remains the top prep pitcher in the class and could still potentially sneak his way into the back of the top-10. At 6’5” and 185 lbs, Meyer has all the earmarks of a projectable frame. The tall, lanky right-hander with a whip-like body and delivery undoubtably bulk up once he begins professional conditioning, making him something of a beast when he is standing atop the mound. Meyer is ranked as the #7 overall prospect at Baseball America, #12 at Fangraphs, #8 at MLB Pipeline, and #26 by Keith Law. Here is what Law had to say about Meyer’s lower relative ranking.

Meyer is probably the top high school pitcher in this draft, certainly the top right-hander, and in some years he’d be looking at a sure top-10 selection and would be at least a little higher on my rankings — although new readers should bear in mind that I discount all high school pitchers based on the much higher attrition rates for such players taken in the first round. (They reach the majors at a much lower rate than other categories, and even if they get there a lower percentage of them have sustained success.) Meyer is up to 96 mph with a hammer curveball that has huge spin rates and a power slider, barely using his changeup, perhaps because he just doesn’t need it yet. It’s a good delivery and good body for a starter, with a lot of projection left on his 6-5 frame. I’ve heard scouts say they think the fastball plays down from its velocity, which is a fair concern but also a small one if that’s his biggest flaw. There’s at least mid-rotation upside here.

Mock drafts have Meyer going as high as #8 and as low as #22. This range seems overly large and those mocking Meyer beyond Arizona are taking a big leap of faith that the young man remains signable at those lower slots.

Fastball: As to be expected from a young man just beginning to come into physical maturity, Meyer’s velocity is tracking upward, frequently touching 97-98 mph last summer, and while that was in shorter stints, increases continued this spring as he has touched triple digits at times during his senior year. Meyer’s large frame should allow him to build up some respectable endurance to go with his elite velocity given the right coaching regimen. Meyer features a clean delivery with good mechanics and few moving parts. He already whips the ball with elite velocity without being a max effort pitcher. While Meyer’s arm action is a bit long in his takeback, he showed solid ability to repeat a lower, three-quarter arm slot delivery that lacks much violence in his finish. His clean, repeatable delivery and excellent athleticism have allowed him to consistently showcase advanced touch and feel for a prep arm, particularly one with Meyer’s size and stuff. It is this combination of clean mechanics with high upside that makes Meyer falling seem unlikely.

Slider: In addition to elite fastball velocity, Meyer also possess a double-plus slider that features a already impressive 3100 rpm spin-rate. The slider features both big depth and lateral action when he is on. When he starts to overthrow it, the slider tends to flatten out a bit. The biggest knock on Meyer’s slider is its velocity relative to that of his fastball. Sitting in the mid-80s, the slider sometimes clocks in as much as 15-17 mph slower than his fastball, making it much easier to identify. All the pieces are already in place to allow a major league team to make a minor tweak to turn the high-spin slider into a true sweeper, which may help the already impressive pitch play up even more.

Changeup: Don’t let the 50-grade on this pitch fool you. One of the biggest reasons for said grade is how little Meyer has shown the pitch to date. With elite velocity on the fastball and a devastating slider, Meyer really needed a third pitch to handle his fellow competition in the PNW. However, when Meyer does throw it, the pitch flies 86-90 mph. Meyer’s long arm motion combined with his three-quarter delivery gives the change exceptional lateral movement and deception, with the ball still jumping out of his hand before simply falling off the table.

Cutter: The Cutter is a relatively new addition to Meyer’s arsenal so there is a great deal of variation in grades of the pitch. The pitch shows plenty of life and is another hard-thrown offering with significant arm-side movement. The pitch is a low-to-mid 90s offering that behaves somewhat like his slider. The pitches, while still distinct seem to be used rather interchangeably and he may or may not retain the offering once he starts facing professional hitters and the pitching philosophy of the team that selects him.

The Bard’s Take|

It seems unlikely that Noble Meyer reaches Arizona at #12, despite what some of the mock drafts say. The potential here is just too great. If he should fall to Arizona at #12, signability remains a concern. As stated earlier, Meyer is a top-10 talent in most drafts, and may still be even in this deeper one. With the concerns associated with being a prep arm removed from the equation, Meyer will be a shortlist candidate for 1:1. As such, it is going to take significant commitment by the selecting team to keep him from heading to Eugene. While Meyer’s fastball may not play up as well as one would expect with his stuff, his elite velocity allows him to still bully hitters enough to have a mid-rotation upside. If he is able to get better results from his fastball or if he is able to better mix and match his full repertoire within the zone, he has the upside of a frontline starter.

As a prep arm, there is significant risk with this selection. However, compared to other prep arms, Meyer’s present tools decrease the risk of a bust candidate significantly. If Arizona decides they want a pitcher in the first round, Meyer should be on the short list of potential targets.

Next up: Other Prospects and Draft Overview