At the start of the season the Nationals player development staff felt that righthander Bradley Meyers would likely need a full season in high Class A Potomac before progressing to Double-A Harrisburg in 2010.
In July they decided his performance merited a promotion.
"He got off to a great start in Potomac and showed us that he was ready for the next level," said Bobby Williams, the Nationals director of player development. "(He) forced us to move him (to Harrisburg)."
That great start was overwhelming. In 14 starts with Potomac, Meyers had a 1.43 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 88 innings. Meyers, 23, has recently overcome a minor foot injury and has seen his success carry over to Double-A, where he has a 2.65 ERA through four starts.
Meyers can throw three quality pitches for strikes and has added a cutter to his repertoire this year, which has helped him suppress the amount of home runs he’s allowed. Meyers has only allowed one homer this year between both levels after surrendering eight last season in 107 innings for low Class A Hagerstown.
"He has made big progress this year in his overall development as a starting pitcher," Williams said. "He still has more to learn and improve on but he continues to make strides each time out."
Williams said Meyers does a good job of mixing his pitches, which include a fastball in the 88-92 mph range, a slider and changeup, with each pitch featuring late movement and the tendency to miss the barrel of hitters’ bats. Williams believes improved fastball command and progression of Meyers’ secondary offerings have allowed him to have a strong season.
The Mets originally drafted Meyers out of high school in the 14th round, but he chose to attend Loyola Maramount instead and became the Nationals’ fifth-round pick in 2007.
"At this point, we would like to see him finish the year in Harrisburg, remain healthy, and finish up strong. . ." Williams said. "He has been one of many bright spots for our organization so far this year. His development has made a substantial jump but one that we were certainly hoping for."
The Nationals consider the 6-foot-6, 195-pound Meyers a potential number four or five starter in the big leagues with the ability to eat innings as he continues to improve his strength and conditioning and becomes more consistent repeating his delivery.
“With a good finish this year in Harrisburg I would anticipate him competing for a starting spot in (Triple-A) Syracuse next year. . ." Williams said. "He is putting himself in position to be able to compete next year in Triple-A and from there (he) could be ready for the big leagues by late 2010 or 2011."