AUSTIN MEADOWS
CENTER FIELDER
Born: May 3, 1995
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 210
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Drafted: 1st Round, 9th Overall, 2013
How Acquired: Draft
High School: Grayson HS, Loganville, GA
Agent: Excel Sports Management

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

The Pirates selected Meadows with the ninth pick, which they had as a result of their inability to sign Mark Appel in 2012.  He’s an athletic center fielder who has a chance to stay at the position.  He runs well now, but given his size may lose some speed later.  His arm is around average, but probably good enough for him to play right.  His bat is highly regarded and considered a relatively safe bet.  There are some questions whether his swing will create the kind of loft necessary for corner outfield power, but he has above-average power potential.  Baseball America rated him the fifth best player in the draft, the second closest to the majors among prep players.  BA also rated his strike zone judgment the best among prep players.  He had a commitment to Clemson, but was not expected to be exceptionally difficult to sign.  He agreed to terms about three weeks after the draft for the full slot amount.

2013
R:  294/399/519, 160 AB, 11 2B, 5 3B, 5 HR, 24 BB, 42 K, 3-5 SB
A-:  529/636/882, 17 AB, 2 HR, 5 BB, 4 K

Meadows got off to a slow start in the GCL, getting just six hits in his first 39 ABs, but after that he batted .339 with good power in rookie ball, then hit very well in a late-season promotion to Jamestown.  He added another HR in the playoffs.  Meadows hammered RHPs for a 1.040 OPS and hit 261/306/478, with three HRs, against LHPs.  Baseball America rated him the best prospect in the GCL.

2014
R:  1000/1000/2000, 4 AB, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 BB
R+:  071/235/071, 14 AB, 3 BB, 3 K

A:  322/388/486, 146 AB, 13 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 14 BB, 30 K, 2-5 SB

Meadows’ 2014 season took a long time to get underway.  He suffered a hamstring injury in camp and, in the end, it kept him out until the end of June.  After rehabbing in the GCL and at Bristol, he took over center field in West Virginia in mid-July.  Meadows continued hitting pretty much as he had the previous year.  He had trouble with LHPs, posting just a .466 against them, compared to 1.065 against RHPs, but the sample size was small.

The Pirates will have to decide whether to move Meadows up to Bradenton to open 2015 or keep him back at West Virginia for a while.  Either way, he remains one of their top prospects.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MiLB.com

HS
BA
OBP
SLG
AB
2B
3B
HR
BB
K
SB
CS
2013 .535 .633 .930 71 14 1 4
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2015: Minor league contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $3,029,600
MiLB Debut: 2013
MLB Debut:
MiLB FA Eligible: 2019
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2017
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
June 6, 2013: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1st round, 9th overall pick; signed on June 27.