Outfielder Austin Meadows
Out of the Pirates’ 23 non-roster invitees this spring, none are as well known or talked about as Austin Meadows. Meadows is the Pirates’ top prospects, as well as being one of the top prospects in all of baseball. Over the weekend Meadows was named the sixth best prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America.
Austin Meadows is a future star in the Major Leagues. He can hit for average, get on base, he is a plus defender in the outfield, he has above average speed, and should develop above average power. Meadows has the potential to be a true five-tool player.
I would expect Meadows to stick around in Big League camp for two or three weeks before being sent to Minor League camp. Even though that stay could be extended some due to the World Baseball Classic. Regardless of how long his stay in Major League camp lasts, it will be an opportunity for Meadows to improve his hitting ability against Major League quality pitching. Furthermore, it will give him the opportunity to work more extensively with Pirate hitting coach Jeff Branson to improve his craft.
While Austin Meadows has no chance of making the Pittsburgh Pirates’ roster out of Spring Training, it will still be fun to watch him compete and get some at bats against Major League pitching. I fully expect Meadows to reach the Major Leagues at some point in 2017 and to become a mainstay in the Pirate lineup in 2018. Spring Training will be a glimpse into the future of the Pirates’ outfield.