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Woodbury Baseball: Meyer verbally commits to Gophers

Max Meyer hurls a strike against Burnsville in the state tournamnet. (Photo by John Molene)

As recently as 12 months ago, Royals star pitcher Max Meyer wasn’t even on the Gophers radar. 

“In the offseason leading up to this past season I was asked to reach out to the Gophers,” Woodbury head baseball coach Kevin McDermott said. “He wasn’t on their list. So we waited.”

It wasn’t long until Meyer started to get noticed, though. He managed to increase his velocity on the mound. He continued to flash his versatility in the field. And he helped lead the Royals to their best season in recent memory — a season that ended at Target Field with a third-place finish in the state tournament.

The hometown program started to take notice, and early last week Meyer made it official with an announcement via Twitter.

“I’m really excited for him that he’s a Golden Gopher,” McDermott said. “I know he’s very excited about it. That was his goal. It’s also good for our program to get kids playing for that program.”

Meyer, who used to go to games with his grandparents when he was a kid, went on his unofficial visit “a couple weeks ago” and said he had a “gut feeling” when he was walking around campus.

“After that was finished I was on my way home I told my parents that this was where I wanted to go,” he said “It’s always been a dream of mine to play there.”

Meyer was dominant for Woodbury this season, consistently shutting down opponents. He had arguably his best showing of the season against Burnsville in the state tournament with a college coaches in the stands

“He took some huge jumps this season and when we got to the state tournament that put him on the big stage,” McDermott said. “The way he pitched against Burnsville I think sealed the deal for him.”

“That was pretty much when it blew up,” Meyer added. “I was happy that I performed well under pressure.”

As the ace for the Royals this past season, Meyer also played shortstop when he wasn’t on the mound. He said the Gophers coaches told him they plan to use him in a similar fashion.

“I’m going to try to be a two-way player for them,” he said. “I know I’ll have to work really hard to succeed with that.”

McDermott said he thinks the Gophers are getting “a steal” in Meyer.

“He’s an ultra-confident kid so he brings a lot of swagger with him,” McDermott said. “That’s what guys need to succeed at the next level. I was surprised there weren’t more schools after him.”

“The Gophers got a really nice player,” McDermott added. “He hasn’t seen the weight room. He would claim that he’s seen it. He’s maybe taken a peek in there. As soon as he gets in there he’s going to see even bigger jumps in his game.”

Meyer still has a season left with the Royals before he starts his career with the Gophers. And while he’s excited about the future, he is also excited to close out his high school career on a high note.

“I’m grateful for my coaches and teammates and I know I wouldn’t be here without them,” Meyer said. “They push me every single day to be the best player I can be. I want to make the most of my final season with those guys.”