When you think of the pitching prospects of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the name Anthony Meo doesn’t immediately come to mind. Yet, there he is listed at #8 on the depth chart for future stars of the D’backs, ahead of more well-known guys like shortstop Nick Ahmed and pitcher Matt Stites.
Meo was taken by Arizona in the second round of the 2011 Draft out of Coastal Carolina University. The 6 foot 2 right-hander pitched three seasons for the Chanticleers becoming one of the most decorated players in school history. He made the All-Big South First Team in each of his three years and was named the conference’s Pitcher of the Year in 2010. His career record was 32-7 with a 2.52 ERA. Meo is the only pitcher in Big South history to win at least 30 games in three seasons and his ERA is a school and conference record.
Meo’s first full professional season was spent at High Class A Visilia in 2012. He started 25 games with one relief appearance and went 9-8 with a 4.11 ERA. He allowed 134 hits and 71 walks while striking out 153 in 140 innings. Meo began 2013 back with Visilia, this time making 21 relief appearances and no starts. He went 1-1 with a 7.54 ERA, throwing 22 2/3 innings and allowing 25 hits, 22 walks while fanning 22. Meo went back to being a starter upon his promotion to Double A Mobile. In eight starts, his record was 0-4 with a 6.37 ERA in 35 1/3 innings. He allowed 31 hits and 25 walks while striking out 17.
Mlb.com’s take on Meo indicates that his future may be in the bullpen. His fastball get to 94 MPH but it is believed it can get higher if he pitched in shorter stints. His slider has a chance to be Major League average. The report states that he is a two pitch guy. His expected arrival to the Majors is 2014; that can happen if he starts to pitch exclusively out of the bullpen, beginning with a trip to Triple A Reno.