Thursday trade that netted Corey Dickerson not only helps the Pittsburgh Pirates in the short term as they get their everyday left fielder, but it also should benefit the Bucs in the long term as well.
Perhaps no one benefits more from the acquisition of Dickerson than Austin Meadows.
With Dickerson in the fold, we likely won’t see Meadows in Pittsburgh all season, maybe not even as a September call up.
While Pirates fans have been anxiously awaiting Meadows to get called up, this is great for him as what Meadows needs the most is a full and healthy season in Triple-A, which is exactly what he is going to get now.
He may have gotten that anyways, but now there is no pressure to call him up before he is ready.
Also, the pressure of jumping into center field as Andrew McCutchen’s replacement is off Meadows’ shoulders. With just 410 career Triple-A at bats under his belt, that’s the last thing Meadows needed at this point.
Now Meadows can just go out every day and work on putting up solid numbers at Indianapolis.
With a .697 career OPS at Triple-A, Meadows needs to put up a good season and more importantly a healthy one.
Meadows also has struck out around 20 percent of the time in Triple-A, so you would like to see him get a full season to work on that as well.
The biggest thing though is Meadows staying healthy for a full season and getting into a groove offensively.
[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The 22-year-old has played in only 168 games the last two seasons and only slashed .250/.311/.359 in 284 Triple-A at-bats last summer.[/perfectpullquote]
That will turn around with consistent at bats this season you would think.
Once that happens, we can talk about a big-league debut in 2019.
No matter how he performs, Dickerson’s time in a Pirates uniform could be a short one and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as Meadows shows he is ready.
Dickerson is arbitration eligible for the last time next season and can become a free agent after the 2019 season.
Judging by the Pirates MO in the past, they will probably look to shop him next offseason.
If that’s the case and Meadows is ready, then Neal Huntington bought himself at least a full season until he even has to think about calling Meadows up.
That will be huge in Meadows’ development.
At the end of the day, the Dickerson trade just doesn’t benefit the 2018 Pirates lineup, but it benefits Meadows even more.