The Pirates drafted Austin Meadows with the 9th overall pick. - Image Credit: Getty Images
The Pirates drafted Austin Meadows with the 9th overall pick. – Image Credit: Getty Images

With the ninth pick in the 2013 MLB draft the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Austin Meadows. That’s a bit of a surprise since the Pirates have been linked to Reese McGuire, who was still on the board. McGuire is most likely going to be gone when the Pirates pick 14th overall.

Meadows is a high upside outfield bat who is very athletic and has the range to stick in center. He’s got a smooth and easy swing, and Baseball America calls him one of the safest bats in the draft. Keith Law has him as a guy who could have above-average power in the majors.

The Pirates will most likely stick with Meadows in center field to start with, but he has a fringy arm and could fill out his frame and lose some speed, forcing a move to a corner. He projects to have the bat to play a corner, and should hit for the power you’d want from a corner, so that move shouldn’t be a problem. The Pirates also have plenty of center fielders in Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, and Gregory Polanco, so Meadows sticking in center isn’t a big need.

More on Meadows:

  • Rated as the 3rd best position player and 5th best overall in the draft by Baseball America.
  • Rated as the best athlete, second-best pure hitter, best strike zone judgment and second closest player to the majors among high school players in this year’s draft.
  • Was a 2013 Rawlings pre-season first-team All-American.
  • Hit .535 with 14 doubles, one triple, four home runs and 28 RBI as a senior at Grayson High School in Loganville, Georgia.
  • Led his high school to the Georgia Class 6A state semifinals in 2012 after hitting .390 with four homers, 28 RBI and 19 stolen bases. Led the USA Baseball 16U National Team to the IBAF World Youth championship in 2011 in Mexico, leading the team in hits (22), doubles (five), triples (three), RBI (28) and steals (6) during the eight game tournament, setting a record for most RBI and earning a spot on the all tournament team.

The first eight picks went in the following order:

1. Houston Astros – Mark Appel, RHP

2. Chicago Cubs – Kris Bryant, 3B

3. Colorado Rockies – Jonathan Gray, RHP

4. Minnesota Twins – Kohl Stewart, RHP

5. Cleveland Indians – Clint Frazier, OF

6. Miami Marlins – Colin Moran, 3B

7. Boston Red Sox – Trey Ball, LHP

8. Kansas City Royals – Hunter Dozier, SS