Local product Justin Meis is an overlooked member of the Pirate farm system that should make his Double-A debut to start the season
When people think of the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system there are plenty of starting pitchers who may come to mind. Mike Burrows, Luis Ortiz, Quinn Priester, Anthony Solometo, and Bubba Chandler are likely among the pitchers who come to mind. However, an overlooked pitching prospect is Justin Meis.
Meis was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 10th round of the 2021 MLB Draft. A Pittsburgh native, Meis immediately became an intriguing pitching prospect due to being a local product. His pitching repetoire also added to the intrigue.
Last season Meis consistently took the ball. Between the Low-A Bradenton Marauders and High-A Greensboro Grasshoppers, Meis pitched 114 innings in 26 appearances. 23 of these 26 appearances came as a starting pitcher.
Meis posted a 4.11 ERA and a 4.49 FIP in his 144 innings pitched. He allowed 14 home runs (1.11 HR/9), limited opposing batter to a .224 batting average, walked 9.7% of batters faced, and struck out a healthy 24.7%.
The best pitch Meis throws is a slider that has plus potential. He also has the ability to throw his slider for strikes and he is not afraid to throw it at any point in an at-bat. Meis also throws a mid-90s fastball and a changeup.
His best long-term home could be in the bullpen, this is likely where he is to find the most success in the future as a MLB pitcher. That said, the Pirates will continue to have him start until they are given a reason not to.
At 23-years-old, Meis is likely ticketed for Double-A Altoona to begin the season. This move up in level will be a big jump for Meis. If he can find success as a starting pitcher he will continue to be developed as a starting pitcher. If he struggles, Meis will likely be moved to the Altoona bullpen where he could really find success.