The Cardinals have a true pitching prodigy waiting in the minors.
Alexander Reyes is undoubtedly the Cardinals’ top prospect. The 21 year old, right handed pitcher, signed with the Cardinals on December 3rd, 2012 at the age of 18 out of the Dominican Republic. Reyes shows a lot of promise with a fastball that sits in the upper 90s and has the ability to reach triple digits. His delivery is very natural with a flawless windup that looks like he is exerting no effort.
He recently developed the ability to create tail on his fastball making it almost impossible to hit.
Reyes also has a nasty curveball. With sharp, late break, his secondary pitch is ready for MLB hitters, a rare trait on a young pitcher. He is also confident enough to throw his changeup. Although his changeup is behind his other two pitches, he understands the importance of developing a changeup if he wants to succeed at the MLB level. Last season, Reyes spent time between high A ball and double A where he posted an impressive 2.49 ERA in 101.1 innings. Reyes only allowed 70 hits while striking out 151 batters. In his 22 starts last season, he conceded only 1 homerun.
— Brian Walton (@B_Walton) March 5, 2016
Reyes seems like he should be a future ace on any MLB team but has a few fatal flaws. Last season Reyes received a 50 games suspension for multiple marijuana drug test failures. He is a young kid and lacks much discipline that he will need to succeed in the big leagues.
Like most young flame throwing pitchers, Reyes lacks control. In 101.1 innings Reyes walked 49 batters, almost 1 batter every two innings. While Reyes does strike out 36.5% of the batters he faces, higher than the MLB leader Clayton Kershaw at 33.5%, he walks 12% of the batters he faces.
The tall right handed pitcher has an extraordinary amount of potential but has a lot to prove in the 2016 season. Reyes will most likely not start the season the MLB roster but will be the first pitcher to be called up when someone gets injured or underperforms. Reyes has a lot to prove this season but if he can stay out of trouble and learn how to command his fastball, he has the ability to be a future Cy Young award winner.