Max Meyer signs with Miami Marlins

Thomas Cass

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Fair use image from MiLB

Alumni Max Meyer is a promising young pitcher for the Miami Marlins. Max is a Woodbury high school graduate and University of Minnesota alumni.

The dream of every young athlete and their parents is to make it to the big leagues. For math teacher Kathy Meyer and her son Max, that dream became a reality. A Woodbury High School graduate and University of Minnesota alumni, Max was drafted in the first round by the Miami Marlins in the 2020 draft.

Max did not receive much attention from colleges during high school years. He was only recruited by the University of Chicago before committing to the University of Minnesota. Being a two sport athlete in high school, Max was not able to play club baseball in the offseason, which hampered his chances at getting noticed by colleges. He played for a Minnesota prospects team during the winter of his junior year, which is what sparked the Gophers interest in him.

Kathy explained he is “not what a college program is looking for,” in terms of size, especially as a pitcher.

After his freshman year, where he tied the Gopher baseball record of 16 saves in a season, Max played for the Team USA Collegiate National Team. He was one of only two freshmen rostered during his first year on the team. Returning to that national team following his sophomore year allowed him to play in places he never would have been able to such as Cuba, Taiwan and Japan.

“He played again after sophomore year on the USA team, which was the coolest opportunity… and just had really cool experiences,” Kathy said.

Following a dominant college career that was cut short during his junior year by the COVID-19 pandemic, Max tied Paul Molitor as the highest draft pick from the University of Minnesota, being selected third overall by the Miami Marlins. As a pitcher in college, Max had a record of 10-7 with an earned run average of 2.30, while batting .230 in 178 at bats. 

“I do believe, you know, he was the best baseball player I’ve ever seen play, him and probably Drew Gilbert,” Mike Parker, math teacher and varsity baseball coach, said. 

Max made his professional debut in 2021 with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Double A affiliate of the Marlins. In September 2021, he was called up to Triple A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. Over 111 innings through 22 starts, Max had a record of 6-4, a 2.27 era and 130 strikeouts. This led to him being selected for the All Stars Futures Games.

“In his first year, there was no minor leagues that year he got drafted, which is a different experience. So he just kind of went down and hung out down at Spring Training area and then he was successful,” Kathy said.

In only his second career MLB start, Max suffered a torn UCL in his right arm. An increasingly common injury among pitchers, it requires Tommy John surgery that typically needs at least one year of recovery time. Having undergone the surgery in early August 2022, Max is expected to miss the entirety of the 2023 season.