Breaking Down The First Month Of Austin Meadows MLB Career


A month ago Austin Meadows made his much awaited Major League debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates and he has not disappointed

On May 18th, the Pittsburgh Pirates promoted top hitting prospect Austin Meadows to the Major Leagues. When the move was made it was due to center fielder Starling Marte being placed on the disabled list and many people believed that when Marte returned Meadows would be optioned back to Triple-A.

With Marte out, Meadows played every day while starting in center field. During the time Marte was out Meadows did nothing but hit. His play forced the Pirates’ hand and it led to the team keeping him in the Major Leagues when Marte returned.

After going 1-for-5 on Sunday, Meadows now owns a .326/.351/.598/.949 slash line in 97 MLB plate appearances. His ISO is .272, wOBA is .395, and he has posted a wRC+ of 153. Meadows has also stolen three bases while striking out just 14 times (14.4% strikeout rate).

All of this has culminated in Meadows owning a 0.9 fWAR 26 games into his MLB career. This would put him on pace to be a 5.6 fWAR player over the course of a full season. For comparison sake, in 2017 a 5.6 fWAR would have been tied with Nolan Arenado for the eighth highest in the National League.

What has been most impressive from Meadows thus far is the fact he is destroying baseballs. Both his hard contact rate and exit velocity are above league average.

Hard Contact RateExit Velocity
Austin Meadows45.9%88.4 MPH
MLB Average34.1%87.3 MPH

Meadows has also been the benefactor of some good luck. His batting average on balls in play (BAbip) is .338, which is 38 points higher than the league average of .300. However, it is not out of the question for Meadows to end up being a hitter that always has a high BAbip due to his speed and hard contact rate. So, even if he were to regress some, it should not be major regression.

The only area where you would like to see Meadows be better is his walk rate. Meadows owns just 4.1% walk rate which is much lower than you would like to see. Hopefully, as Meadows continues to mature as a hitter his walk rate will improve.

Next: Pirate Pitchers Have A Fielding Problem

One month into his MLB career Austin Meadows has shown why he was a former top-10 draft pick and one of the top outfield prospects in all of baseball. The Pirates appear to have a budding star in Meadows, watching him grow and develop the rest of this season will be a treat for Pirate fans.