Three non-roster invitees to watch in Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training
Outfielder Austin Meadows
This one is a bit different than the other two. Outfielder Austin Meadows has no chance of making the Pirates’ Opening Day roster. Period.
Not only will the Pirates not want to risk Meadows becoming Super 2 eligible down the road, he legitimately needs more time at Triple-A. Had he not battled hamstring injuries in 2017 it may be a different story on the latter, but, unfortunately, he could not stay healthy in 2017.
On top of being the franchise’s top hitting prospect, Austin Meadows is one of the top-100 prospects in the game of baseball. He is the type of player that you dub as a future face of the franchise type.
When he was on the field in 2017, Meadows’ performance at Triple-A left a lot to be desired. In 312 plate appearances he owned just a .311 on-base percentage, .359 slugging percentage, .301 wOBA, and a wRC+ of 85. While he struck out just 16.0 percent of the time, he also walked just 7.7 percent of the time.
In 2018 Austin Meadows needs to be healthy and to perform well at Triple-A. This performance must include both offensive and defensive excellence for the former top-10 draft pick. If Meadows does not pan out, it will have a massive negative impact on the future of the Pirates.
Next: Twitter Mailbag: Feb. 13, 2018
If all goes according to plan, Austin Meadows will be a starting outfielder along with Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco before the end of the 2018 season. That plan includes Meadows having a strong, healthy showing in Spring Training.