This article was originally published at the Redbird Daily by Colin Garner, and is now proud to call the Cards Conclave home. Throughout July, we’ll be re-running all 30 Prospect articles as we lead up to Colin’s Mid-Season Prospect Update later in the month.
In Collaboration with Kyle Reis and Birds On The Black, Colin Garner presents you with The Cardinals Top 30 Prospects! Today, we have #1, Alex Reyes.
1. Alex Reyes – RHP
Signed in 2011 as amateur free-agent
Entering age-23 season
2016 FIP: 2.67
What I Like
Watch what Alex Reyes can do with a baseball. It’s amazing.
He can ramp the fastball up to 101 miles-per-hour. His changeup, which sits 88-90, has nasty downward tilt. The crazy thing is, he doesn’t slow his arm down at all and it’s nearly impossible for the hitter to pick up.
They didn’t show it in the video above, but his breaking ball is nasty too. In early 2016 it was a big curveball, but it evolved into a slider/cutter. You can see it in the video below.
The curveball? He threw that, too, at 78 mph with a foot of downward movement. (If you’re keeping score at home, thats a 78-101 range of offerings. Good luck.)
Reyes produced 1.4 WAR over just 46 innings pitched in 2016. That’s ludicrous. He struck out 27.5 percent of the hitters he faced. His fastball averaged over 97 miles-per-hour. His changeup sat around 88 and hitters whiffed over 23 percent of the time.
Words don’t do Alex Reyes justice. He’s the type of player who’s dominance can really only be understood by seeing his opponents’ reactions to his pitches.
As a Cardinals fan, how can you not love that? Javier Baez is, in my humble opinion, the most overrated player in all of baseball and Alex Reyes made him look like a complete fool. For that, he deserves a red jacket. (Okay, not really.)
That’s really all there is to it. I could nitpick and say he walked a few too many guys, or his strand rate isn’t sustainable. Someone asked if I considered making Flaherty my number one overall prospect. Answer: yes. Then I watched Alex Reyes pitch and was reminded how beautifully filthy he is on the mound.
What I Don’t Like
Nothing. Except that he had Tommy John surgery and missed all of last season.
Thanks for reading!