Austin Meadows ranked as eighth-best outfield prospect


After headlining all of Major League Baseball with seven prospects noted on the Prospect Pipeline Top 100, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Austin Meadows – one of the aforementioned seven talents – was also ranked as the eighth-best outfield prospect heading into the 2015 season.

After being drafted with the ninth overall pick back in 2013, Meadows spent the bulk of last season with the Pirates’ Class-A affiliate in West Virginia, appearing in 38 games, batting .317/.394/.488 while manning center field for the club.

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Despite his success, Meadows missed a decent chunk of time last year – which will probably slow his ascent to the big league level. That being said, since being drafted out of high school, he has not missed a beat – especially offensively – with a .317/.410/.522 slash-line over the course of the last two seasons. Most notably, at least in my opinion, is the .410 OBP – a promising sign for a player who is just 19 years old.

"When Meadows has been on the field, he’s shown what all the fuss was about and why he was worthy of a top 10 selection in the 2013 Draft. Unfortunately, he missed all but 45 total games of the 2014 season because of a hamstring issue he had difficulty shaking. Once he did, though, he performed the way everyone expected him to."

It’s unlikely that Meadows will reach PNC Park within the next two years, given he has yet to play a full season professionally since he was drafted. The team really doesn’t have much of a need in the outfield presently with Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco manning the three spots heading into 2015.

However, this may only help Meadows’ development long-term. He won’t have the pressure of needing to be rushed to Pittsburgh before he is ready and will be able to spend time further developing his approach at the plate – especially as he takes on improved pitching at higher levels of Minor League Baseball.

Look for Meadows to open the 2015 season at either the High-A or Double-A level – and don’t expect to see him any higher than probably Altoona prior to 2016.

Next: Pittsburgh Pirates make a pair of minor league signings