The good news keeps coming for the Pittsburgh Pirates, as another one of their top prospects was ranked highly by MLBPipeline.com. Austin Meadows, one of the top players in the Pirates’ organization, was ranked the fourth-best outfield prospect today. With what he has done so far in the minor leagues, it’s no surprise that Meadows is getting this attention.
Drafted by the Pirates with the ninth overall pick in 2013, Meadows has put up good numbers since joining the organization. He missed some time in 2014 due to injuries but he split 2015 between Bradenton and Altoona. The left-handed hitter will start the season with Altoona since he only played in six games at the AA level since making the jump last season. With his pedigree and what he has shown so far, a promotion to Triple-A Indianapolis is definitely in the cards for 2016.
For his career, Meadows has slashed .312/.380/.460 over 874 at-bats. He has a very respectable 91/163 BB/K rate, and while his total of 17 home runs in that span is not impressive, he should become more of a long ball threat as he gets older and stronger. He also swiped 21 bases last year, continuing the trend of speedy outfielders for the Pirates.
As mentioned above, Meadows will most likely see some time in Indianapolis this season, barring an injury or if he takes a big step back (which is not likely). This means that Meadows could theoretically make his way to Pittsburgh sometime in 2017. The emergence of Meadows will give the team some flexibility. With Andrew McCutchen only signed through 2017 (with a team option for 2018), his status going forward is very much up in the air. If the team decides to sign McCutchen to a deal to keep him in Pittsburgh past 2018, then Meadows all of the sudden becomes a very valuable trade chip. If the Pirates do decide to part ways with McCutchen, they now have a promising young outfielder ready to step in and take his place.
With Meadows ranking among the top ten outfield prospects in the game, he joins Tyler Glasnow (second-best RHP), Josh Bell (second among first basemen), Alen Hanson (sixth among second baseman), Reese McGuire and Elias Diaz (fourth and sixth among catchers), and Ke’Bryan Hayes (fifth among third baseman) as members of the organization who have shown enough on the field to get recognition from MLB Pipeline. This means that the Pirates should have at least seven players in their top 100, but more than likely that number will be higher.
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