22-Year-Old Outfielder – Pittsburgh Pirates
2018 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
While Meadows' on-field performance was troubling, the most concerning aspect of his 2017 campaign was the time missed with a hamstring issue. Recall that he missed time with the same type of injury b...
Austin Meadows Contract Information:
Signed with the Pirates in June 2013.
Meadows (oblique) was added to the Pirates' 40-man roster Monday.
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Pittsburgh Pirates Roster
MajorsBarbato, Johnny (P)
AAABarnes, Barrett (OF)
AAAgrazal, Dario (P)
A+Craig, Will (1B)
AAlemais, Stephen (SS)
RookieBaz, Shane (P)
Austin Meadows: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The Pirates rewarded Meadows with a midseason promotion to Triple-A Indianapolis following his hot start at Double-A Altoona. A broken orbital bone initially pushed his season debut back a few weeks, but Meadows found his game in late May and went on a 26-game hitting streak (.408/.441/.864). The left-handed hitter's splits against lefties (.260/.333/.494) and righties (.268/.333/.550) are encouraging. He totaled only 212 plate appearances in Altoona prior to his promotion, ascending quickly through a typically conservative Pittsburgh organization. After compiling a .976 OPS with the Curve, the 21-year-old found the going a bit rougher in Indianapolis. Meadows hit only .214/.290/.460 in 126 at-bats, though he gained valuable experience against older competition. A late-season oblique strain dashed any hopes of a September promotion or trip to the Arizona Fall League. While the outfield in Pittsburgh is set, injuries (or an Andrew McCutchen trade?) have a way of changing circumstances. Meadows will likely start 2017 in Triple-A, but he could make his debut mid-summer as the Pirates attempt to keep him from reaching Super Two status.
Meadows was nearly five years younger than the average Double-A player when he hit a walk-off homer for Altoona in the playoffs. A 2013 first-round pick, the outfielder stayed healthy for the first time in three pro seasons and the results were highly encouraging. Meadows slashed .310/.360/.420 with seven homers and 21 steals as a 20-year-old playing primarily at High-A. He’s yet to flash the home run power predicted by many, but he’ll lace them up again for Altoona in 2016. Pittsburgh already starts three studs in the outfield but another year or two like 2015 will give Meadows an edge to make some noise at PNC Park as soon as 2017.
The ninth overall pick in the 2013 draft, Meadows got off to a late start in 2014. After suffering a hamstring injury early in spring training, the outfielder didn't make his season debut until June 30th. He did little to jeopardize his elite prospect status, though, hitting .322/.388/.486 in 165 plate appearances with Low-A West Virginia. Meadows put up a 1.065 OPS against right-handers but struggled against lefties (.466). While he has plenty of work to do with same-sided pitching, he's still just 20 years of age and posted a .784 OPS vs. southpaws in rookie ball in 2013. Meadows will continue to learn the pro game for the next couple years. At that point, he could push the trio of Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco.
The Pirates were surprised to find Meadows still available after the top eight picks in the 2013 draft and gladly selected him ninth overall. Pittsburgh only had the opportunity to select the left-handed high schooler because of its failure to ink pitcher Mark Appel a year before. Meadows hit a combined .316/.424/.554 in the Gulf Coast League, displaying decent plate discipline (29:46 BB:K ratio). Just 18 years of age, he'll likely start 2014 with Low-A West Virginia. Meadows immediately becomes one of Pittsburgh's top hitting prospects. Armed with a good eye, he's a candidate to hit for a high average with some power for years to come.