Austin Meadows had a strong debut in the GCL this year, being named Baseball America's top prospect in the league.

Austin Meadows Finally Heading to West Virginia

According to his Twitter account, Pittsburgh Pirates outfield prospect Austin Meadows is heading to West Virginia.

Meadows played his final rehab game last night for Bristol, and also played his first complete game. Usually the Pirates have players play anywhere from 1-3 full games before returning. It appears that Meadows only needed the one game.

Meadows has been out since early in Spring Training with a hamstring injury. He was originally expected to return at the end of April, but suffered a setback with another injury to the lower part of his hamstring. That put him out for another two months. He began his on-field work at the end of May, and returned to games in late June.

The final two months of the season for Meadows will be highly anticipated. He’s currently the top hitting prospect in the system, which is mostly based on his tools. He’s a borderline top 50 prospect in the game, and with strong results, he could end up as a top 50 prospect or higher by the end of the year.

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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.

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  • deacs

    Do you think he’ll need a full year at WV next year or if he knocks the cover off the ball could he see a promotion to Bradenton next summer?

  • Brian Bernard

    I know that Meadows has all the talent to play and stay at CF for the term of his development in the minors, but I also think he could be the alternative to Josh Bell at 1b if Bell would happen to get moved in trade along the way. If his hitting potential for average and power is as good as advertised I’d rather have the most athletic 1b in the game than a 4th OF.
    With Marte,Cutch,Polanco in the OF – I could see the team finding a spot for Meadows bat.

    • Lukas Sutton

      By the time Meadows is near MLB ready, Cutch will be near FA and looking at one of the largest paydays the league has seen aside from Trout. Plenty of options for the pirates that dont require taking a quality OFer and moving him out of need. Team could trade Marte to fill our the roster well or (popular but smart idea alert) trade Cutch for a boatload if they arent confident they can pay him if he goes for market price. Cutch is the face of the franchise, but if he wants to cash in he will be too expensive.

      • deacs

        My dream has always been to trade Austin Meadows in a year or two for a Kris Bryant or a Kris Bryant type. I don’t think that would work straight up but my point is a blocked OF for a blocked 3B. But every time I mention this Tim keeps insisting that Meadows will most likely take over for Cutch and shatter these dreams. That’s going to be a dark day when he leaves for FA or we have to trade him. And if he’s traded for 4 top prospects people will still mutiny. Not me. But it’ll be sad nonetheless.

        • Lukas Sutton

          People will get really upset, understandably, but in reality it could be the best thing for the team at that point. The team simply cannot allow him to leave and only get a draft pick for him (offering the QO) so they either have to be positive they extended him/resign him or they get honest 1-2 years before FA hits and shop him for a kings return. The numbers Bryant is putting up at AAA makes them dealing that for an A ball guy unlikely. Itd take a quality, MLB close addition.

          • deacs

            More than unlikely on the Meadows for Bryant. My point was really just a blocked prospect for a blocked prospect – not specifically Bryant but a few years from now if Meadows is tearing it up in AA ball would could get a Bryant type guy or IF. I wonder if the Pirates have approached Cutch about an extension to his extension. As genuine a guy as Cutch is I can’t imagine there’s any sort of money the Pirates could offer him after 2018 that would be NEAR his worth. I mean yeah he’ll be 4 years older but by 2019 he’ll be worth $25 million plus. It just won’t happen. If he’s smart he’ll just play this contract out and get a massive payday in the next one and call it a career.

            • Lukas Sutton

              I doubt the Cubs allow Bryant to be blocked 2 years from now. Guy is doing too well to not make room for him by the start of next year or trade him for a ML quality piece. I agree on Cutch, and honestly im wary of giving him a 8-10 year deal at that point anyway. As amazing as he is, very few players are worth 20+ million at ages 36-40. His speed will decline which will make his defense closer to average as well as make his baserunning less of a value.

  • Brian Bernard

    By the way can you imagine the speed of this potential roster…..
    RF Polanco
    LF Marte
    CF Cutch
    2b Walker
    1b Meadows
    SS Hanson
    C McGuire
    3b Joe :)

    • deacs

      I’ve wondered where they’re going to stick Hanson in the batting order. I’ve heard John (and maybe Tim) say he’d be good leading off. But Polanco’s OBP is around .375 I think so it’d be hard to move him. Maybe you bat him 2nd and move Marte to 5th or 6th? Crazy to think that half your lineup has 35 SB potential.

    • Ron Loreski

      I think the Pirates eventually look to trade Marte to make room for Bell and Meadows. Polanco can move to LF, then one of Bell or Meadows moves to 1B. Trade Marte for a 3B, SP, or whatever else they can get.

      • deacs

        No question we need corner help. But his contract is pretty team friendly. I think they move Bell to first, or I’m guessing he might hit his way there, and I have no idea what Meadows path is. Maybe he replaces Marte and they get a 3B there after all with a trade.

  • R Edwards

    If Meadows does extremely well at WV the second half of this season, iI would think a start at Bradenton next year is likely warranted.

  • R Edwards

    How about Julio De la Cruz and Tito Polo raking for GCL Pirates? Very impressive so far for two teenagers. Polo seems a little small for RF, but he is hitting like one. JDLC just drives in runs – 10 RBIs on just 15 hits. Even though he only batted .199 last year in DSL, he was a good RBI guy.

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