TCN 2015 Cardinals Prospect #25: Mike Mayers

How can a right-handed pitcher from the 2013 Draft already ready for Triple-A be under the radar?

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile

School: University of Mississippi

2014 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
21 RHS 12,06,91 6-3 195 R R 2013 3rd

Selected 2014 stats

Mem 0 0 7.20 7.90 1 1 0 5.0 9 4 2 1 4 0.409 0.43 0.412
Spr 6 5 2.83 3.16 13 13 0 76.1 81 24 2 23 52 0.277 1.06 0.324
PB 2 7 3.72 3.23 12 12 0 72.2 84 30 5 13 61 0.294 0.85 0.351
Tot 8 12 3.39   26 26 0 154.0 174 58 9 37 117 0.290 0.93  

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Message board community (30): Mike Mayers began receiving support in the community vote around vote #20. He did not capture the majority until much later, at #30.

MagnoliaCardFan said Mayers’ scouting report reads to him as if Mayers has a "great personality", i.e. a generic description to substitute for a standout tool that is not there. CrashDee agreed with him on the account but thought he slotted in nicely at this point in the voting process due to being a workhorse at Double-A Springfield in 2014. I wrote, as did PadsFS, that I like Zach Petrick a lot more than I like Mayers, and Petrick hadn’t seen any support yet.

On the other end of the spectrum, SoonerinNC believes that Mayers may be another Lance Lynn, given his size and solid performance in 2014. Blingboy drew attention to Mayers’ home run-preventing ways as a sign that he is a pitcher that will show up even better at Triple-A in 2015. - Jeremy Byrd

Derek Shore: Mayers took an important step forward in 2014 by performing well in the pitcher-friendly High-A Florida State League, as might be expected from a higher-profile polished college pitcher. As a result, he was given a midseason promotion to Springfield, where he was an absolute quality start machine until September.

Since his promotion on June 20th, Mayers led Springfield in quality starts with 10 in his 13 outings. The organization rewarded him for his performance with a playoff start for the Triple-A Memphis club. Even though he was the losing pitcher in that game, Mayers was very impressive in first full-season as one of the more consistent pitchers in the Cardinals organization.

I believe Mayers’ is next year's best candidate to move from being a sleeper to a known quantity in the organization. He has all the weapons to be a quality starter in the future. Meyers throws with crisp powerful mechanics that generates a fastball that can top out at 97 mph, and a two-seamer that can be used as a ground-ball pitch. He also has two other very good pitches in a slider and change-up, both of which only got better as he pitched on at Springfield. His arsenal of offerings frequently left Texas League offenses guessing.

There is no doubt that Mayers is ready for Triple-A Memphis and I think he should be challenged at that level for a full-season to see what he can do.

Brian Walton (23): The Lance Lynn comp made above is an interesting one for several reasons. Both are Midwest natives who pitched college ball at the University of Mississippi. As Lynn has shown, the Major Leagues have a place for pitchers with a high durability profile who can get outs - even if they do not throw 100 miles per hour.

As was expected from the first right-hander taken by the Cardinals in the 2013 draft, Meyers progressed quickly in 2014 and without any major hiccups. Still, given that this was his first full season as a professional, one should not take his success for granted. We might even be guilty of that a bit here, though, as Meyers was 21st in our top 40 a year ago and certainly did nothing to warrant a drop in the rankings.

Include Springfield manager Mike Shildt among those impressed with Mayers.

“This guy was really impressive the way he went about things,” Shildt noted. “He is a bulldog kind of guy. He’s got some weapons. He’s got a good arm. He’s got a sinker in the low 90s and a four-seamer he can throw up there that has some riding life to it and is 92-94. He’s got a slider and changeup that were there for him, but really got better.”

This fall, the organization’s minor league pitching coordinator, Tim Leveque, singled out Meyers as one of a handful of pitchers across the system who opened eyes this season.

“He is a big, physical kid who really wants to learn,” Leveque said. “He has got a good fastball. He is another one who can get a lot of ground balls. He has a good feel for his breaking ball and changeup.”

Cardinals coaches, including special assistant Chris Carpenter, helped Mayers better maintain his complete focus throughout the game. By doing so, he lessened an earlier problem of quickly giving up three or four runs after cruising into the middle innings.

Though no pitcher is ever considered to be a finished product, Mayers has checked off most of the boxes already. Leveque explains the 22-year-old’s remaining major challenge for 2015 as he is expected to report to camp to compete for a spot in Memphis’ rotation.

“With him, it is just going to be to continue to refine the command,” Leveque concluded. “The stuff and the pitches are there.”

Our 2015 top 40 series continues: To see the entire list of top Cardinals prospects and remaining article schedule, click here. This includes the top 40 countdown and nine in-depth, follow-up articles. Most of the latter are exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation.

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