Nats' Meyer Stays Busy In Offseason





WASHINGTON — It's not easy to intimidate 6-foot-9, 225-pound pitching prospect Alex Meyer, except if you're in the second grade.

Meyer, the 23rd pick in the 2011 draft, signed for $2 million and is keeping busy this offseason by substitute teaching. He's back home in Greensburg, Ind., where he's in the classroom two to four times a week. Meyer has mostly worked with junior high and high school students, but he eventually spent his first day in charge of a younger set.

"I was a little nervous, but it worked out fine," Meyer said. "When you have a bunch of second-graders, you have to have a detailed lesson plan and be on your game. We spent a lot of time on subtraction, and the kids were really great. At that age, they show teachers a lot of respect."

At Kentucky, Meyer came within a semester of a degree in agriculture.
The 22-year-old righthander throws as hard as 97 mph. He also has a slider with good depth and an improving circle changeup.

"He has nice feel for a big man," farm director Doug Harris said.

Meyer said his experience in instructional league last fall was beneficial.

"I started learning to pitch inside more," Meyer said. "I had never even pitched in a college summer league."

At Kentucky last season, he finally stopped growing and went 7-5, 2.94 with 110 strikeouts in 101 innings.

In preparation for his first minor league season, Meyer has a place to practice at his old high school, where he's helping with the freshman basketball team his cousin, P.J. Metz, coaches. He often throws with another cousin, Greensburg senior Kevin Meyer.

"I like to try and stay active," Meyer said. "I don't want to (substitute) every single day—I still like my sleep—but it gets me up and out of the house early."

CAPITAL GAINS

• Righthander Matt Buschmann, a minor league Rule 5 pickup from the Padres system, went 4-1, 2.48 with 42 strikeouts and 11 walks in 40 innings this winter for Culiacan in the Mexican Pacific League.

• Righthander reliever Rafael Martin, who has been invited to major league spring training, went 2-1, 2.81 with 16 strikeouts and three walks in 16 innings in the same league for Mazatlan. He had previously pitched in the Arizona Fall League this offseason.