Right-hander Justin Meis just barely makes the list. He was the first pick in the 10th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2021 MLB Draft. He might not be on the level of Anthony Solometo or Carmen Mlodzinski, but there’s lots of potential for an elite-level relief arm within Meis.
Meis, a Bethel Park native who is living the dream, was drafted out of Eastern Michigan University. His numbers don’t fully support his talent. During his final college season the right-hander pitched 73.2 innings while having a 4.64 ERA, 1.439 WHIP, and 10.2% walk rate. Granted, he did have a solid 0.98 HR/9 and 25% strikeout rate.
Meis cut down on runs allowed once he reached pro-ball. He allowed just 4 earned runs in 17.2 innings. He also upped his strikeout rate to 34.6% while having a 1.0 HR/9. However, walks were still an issue. He surrendered a free pass to 11.5% of all batters faced.
Still, Meis possesses plus stuff. He throws a slurve-like breaking ball in the low-90’s. He also pairs that with a change-up that has some wicked action. That offering comes in the mid-80’s. Finally, there’s his fastball which is a pitch that resides in the 92-94 MPH range.
His breaking ball and arm slot are reminiscent of Adam Ottavino. Like all young relief pitching prospects, Meis has some command issues. But with a great slurve, changeup, and solid fastball, the right-hander has the stuff to end up being a solid long-term relief option within the next few years.