St. Louis Cardinals pitching prospect Alex Reyes put up another impressive performance in the Arizona Fall League on Thursday. The 21-year old right-hander allowed one run (earned) on four hits in 4.0 innings pitched. He struck out four batters while walking two.
“He is far and away the best pitching prospect out here,” said MLB.com’s Jim Callis, who is covering the games and has seen one of the two starts by Reyes.
“He was up to 97-98mph,” said Callis of the first outing. “His power curveball looked tremendous. It was essentially, to be honest, it was living up to expectations. In terms of stuff, I think it’s very similar to what we heard about Carlos Martinez when he was coming up.”
In his two starts, Reyes has now struck out a total of nine batters in 7.2 innings, with just the lone run crossing the plate and he is expected to be “knocking on the door” for St. Louis in 2016 according to General Manager John Mozeliak.
Besides Reyes, a number of other Cardinals prospects are on the Surprise Saguaros–including former number one pick Luke Weaver.
“Luke threw harder than I remembered,” said Callis. “Luke threw some mid-90s fastballs. The changeup was very effective.”
Weaver spent much of the beginning of last season working on gaining strength in extended Spring Training, but finished the year with an 8-5 mark at Palm Beach (A) and allowed 19 combined runs in his 19 starts while striking out 88 batters.
“He already throws hard and that changeup is a separator for him,” continued Callis. “The field of spin is really going to be the determining factor with him. If he doesn’t come up with a solid breaking ball, then maybe he’s a 3 or 4 but if he comes up with one he could maybe pitch towards the front of a rotation.”
Dean Kiekhefer and Robby Rowland are two the two other Cardinals pitching prospects in the Arizona Fall League.
photo credit: Minor League Baseball