The Pittsburgh Pirates have needed a lift to their offense and they might have found one for the future in Austin Meadows.
With the No. 9 overall pick, the Pirates took Meadows, an 18-year-old outfielder out of Grayson High School in Georgia. He’s a left-handed batter and thrower listed at 6’3’’ and 215 pounds.
This is really the ideal situation for both the Pirates and Meadows. For the Pirates, they currently have the fourth-worst batting average in the majors, batting only .237 on the year. They also rank fifth-worst in runs scored with only 220 runs through 60 games. They are looking for a guy who can consistently get on base and show enough speed to get home when needed.
Meadows has a real shot to start playing in the majors very quickly. He may not be out there in the lineup in his very first year, but it’s unlikely he will spend too much time in the minors with the Indianapolis Indians at the AAA level.
As far as prospects this year go, Meadows probably had the most conservative bat in the draft. He does an excellent job getting on base on contact, but he isn’t a flashy power hitter that knocks them out of the park on a regular basis.
When will we see Meadows in the starting lineup for the Pirates?
His overall athleticism makes Meadows a versatile outfielder that can play any of the three spots, which could be big if he plans on coming up and playing with Andrew McCutchen. He also flashes some nice speed on the base paths and that could be something he could get better at.
The swing on Meadows is nice, but he is certainly lacking some power. He could add some more weight to his frame, as he is still likely growing at 18 years old. He can certainly show some nice pop, but he isn’t able to really drive those high lofty fly-balls.
The Pirates were able to secure Meadows with the No. 9 pick; it looks to be a nice fit for both sides. While the Pirates will get some added pop in the lineup in the near future, Meadows will have a chance to develop and become a young star in the majors.
Look out for this kid in the next year or two. You’ll see him become a solid contributor in the big leagues.