Austin Meadows was sidelined for half a season with hamstring issues, but showed off some strong hitting in West Virginia when he returned.

Austin Meadows to Make His Return to the Field on Monday

With Gregory Polanco in the majors, the top hitting prospect in the system is now outfielder Austin Meadows. We have yet to see Meadows in action this year, due to hamstring problems that have kept him out for the first four months of the season.

A few weeks ago I reported that Meadows had started on-field activities, and was making his way back to where he could play in games. The expectation at the time was that he’d start off by playing a few games in the GCL before going to West Virginia for the final two months of the season. Meadows now looks ready to take the field, as he tweeted out the following this morning.

I haven’t received confirmation, but I’m expecting Meadows to still play in the GCL for a few rehab games, based on everything he’s told me leading up to this, and based on the typical minor league rehab approach for the Pirates. (UPDATE: Confirmed. Meadows tells me that he’ll be in the GCL, and expects to play five innings.) They typically have players play five innings for two games, seven innings for two games, then a full nine inning game for one or two games before returning to active status. That would put Meadows about a week away from West Virginia, starting next Monday.

The final two months should be fun to watch what Meadows can do in Low-A. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has to return to the level next year, since he missed so much time this year. A similar situation came with Josh Bell, who missed a lot of the 2012 season with a knee injury. He returned to West Virginia for all of the 2013 season, then moved up to Bradenton this year. Unless Meadows absolutely destroys Low-A pitching, I could see the same development path.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

First Pitch: The Sequel to the Mark Melancon Trade

Next Story »

The Latest on the Gregory Polanco Extension Talk

  • thecobra39

    This is great news. Looking forward to seeing Austin’s progress the rest of the season.

  • R Edwards

    Great news concerning Meadows – its been a tough year for injuries. Has anyone heard anything recently concerning Barnes??

  • freddylang

    A small part of me thinks he can dominate at low A and still get to High A start next year. I just feel like he is a kid that will adjust quickly because of his physicality and how he looked late last year. He still has time to get close to 200 AB too. I would actually even consider bringing him up to Bradenton for some extra playoff AB if they make it.

    • Ian Rothermund

      I don’t doubt it either, but there’s no real need to rush him either. I don’t see having to spend an entire year with West Virginia once he gets back, but I don’t think it could hurt his development to have him playing in WV all year next year.

    • leadoff

      I don’t think the Pirates are in any hurry with him, if he made it to AAA tomorrow, he would be parked there for a very long time.

  • szielinski

    I’d say Bell has earned the name: Best position player prospect. He’s becoming a complete hitter that we can reasonably expect to retain the improvements he’s made this year. His good walk and strikeout rates diminish the risk present in his perceived true talent level. Meadows, on the other hand, has swing and miss tendencies in his bat. He’ll need to overcome those or, minimally, show they are manageable as he moves up the ladder.

  • moose7195

    bout time

  • LetsGoMarauders

    Great! I’ll be able to see him in action Tuesday when they come home. Thanks!

Latest Analysis

  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    20 hours ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

    Read More
  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    2 days ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    3 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    4 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    6 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    1 week ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    1 week ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    2 weeks ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    2 weeks ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles