BRADENTON – Austin Meadows has completed his rehab work in extended Spring Training, and will be leaving for Altoona tomorrow, Pirates Prospects has learned. Meadows was injured during Spring Training when a ball skipped off a teammate’s glove and hit him in the right eye. He had surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone, and was delayed to start the season.
Recently, Meadows has been building up his workload, and having his own version of Spring Training. He played back to back full games the last two days, which is always the final step before being ready for the season. He will leave for Altoona tomorrow, although he might not play tomorrow, due to the travel schedule. You could definitely expect him in the lineup on Monday.
Meadows is the top hitting prospect in the system, and should spend the entire season in Altoona. He got a brief start there at the end of the 2015 season, putting up an impressive .360/.429/.680 line in 28 plate appearances. There’s no rush with his development, since the current Pirates’ outfield is under control for a few more years. He’s got a lot of upside, with the chance to be an impact player in the future for the Pirates.
This move will only make Altoona that much more crowded in the outfield. Their starting outfield will have Meadows in center field, Barrett Barnes in left, and Harold Ramirez in right. That will limit the playing time of Stetson Allie, who has been getting most of the time in right field this season, and who hit his second homer of the year today. Allie is hitting for a .275/.362/.490 line, and is still striking out in 24% of plate appearances, which is down from last year. It might make sense for the Pirates to move Allie up. Playing time is hard to come by in Indianapolis as well, but it would be easier to get Allie playing time in an outfield that included Danny Ortiz, rather than the current Altoona outfield.