The 1988 Project Day 17 – Joey Meyer

1988 Donruss Baseball's Best

Joey Meyer was a prospect before I knew what a prospect was. It seems like he battled both his weight and expectations early on in his career. A 5th round pick in the 1983 draft, Meyer didn’t play in 83, then picked up in 1984 at Beloit, where he slugged 30 home runs with a .320 BA. He continued to hit 20+ homers all the way up to 1987, but there was concern both about his weight and his swing, which was producing a prodigious amount of strikeouts.

I’m not sure why Meyer didn’t make his ML debut in 1986; yes, his average and OBP could have been better, but he performed fairly well. Apparently it had something to do with a logjam at first; Cecil Cooper was the incumbent, and Billy Jo Robidoux was the favored first base prospect, so they weren’t sure where Meyer fit in. Looking at his minor league numbers, though, it was clear something was going to have to give.

1988 Fleer Update

Joey made his debut on April 4th, 1988, at age 25 (soon to be 26), entering as a defensive replacement. He played his first full game almost a week later, April 10th, going 0-3 with a strikeout against Tommy John and the Yankees bullpen. He hit his first home run on April 17th off of John Candelaria. He went on to a.263/.313/.419 line in 1988 in 103 games. Oh, and he also struck out 88 times to 86 hits.

1988 Score Rookies & Traded

1989 would be Meyer’s last season in the majors. He had a .224/.274/.408 line, bouncing back and forth between AAA and the majors before the Brewers released him in the offseason and he went to Japan. He played for the Naiyo Whales in 1990, then came back to the US with the Twins and Pirates, going out with a .250/.284/.370 line in AA at age 29, and then he was gone from baseball.

Interesting set of cards here. Meyer had a 1988 Topps card, so he’s not featured in the Traded set, though he had a Donruss and a Fleer and still made those sets. I think my favorite here is, oddly enough, the Baseball’s Best card. Meyer was known for his bat, so it was a nice switch to see him in the field with the glove, and the orange border doesn’t present too much clash with some of the orange tones in the picture.


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