BRADENTON, Fla. – The Pittsburgh Pirates have reassigned top prospect Austin Meadows to minor league camp. This is a bit late for such a move, since a prospect like Meadows usually would have been sent down to minor league camp much earlier than this in order to get ready for his season. The World Baseball Classic created an opportunity where Meadows could get additional time in the outfield in big league camp, with all three starting outfielders participating in the tournament.

Andrew McCutchen recently returned to games, and will be in the lineup today. Meanwhile, Meadows is already in minor league camp and will be playing in the Triple-A game today up in Dunedin.

Meadows should make his MLB debut this season, serving as a replacement for an injury or poor performance in the second half. He will need additional time to get experience in Triple-A, and get ready for the big leagues. He has also been focusing on keeping healthy, after missing some time last year with injuries. He’s the eventual replacement for Andrew McCutchen in the Pirates’ outfield, and should be one of the three starters by this time next year.

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  1. Kid will be a star. Any talk of 93.7 the fan trading him bc they are personal friends with cutch should be disregarded.

  2. For the first time in recent history, there really is no good scenario for him to be called up prior to Super 2. If we are to get the wild card, our outfield has to play like one of the top three outfields in baseball. If he is called up, that means:
    1. One of the three starters is injured
    2. One of the three starters has been traded
    Neither is good.

    It would be kind of old school (as in the 70s) to have a future star come up as a 4th OF and give the starters some rest. But hasn’t Neal said he wants to promote these guys to play not sit on the bench?

  3. Why is Meadows considered to be ready? He hit .214 in 100+ ABs in AAA last year. Doesn’t he need a lot more ABs at that level? Never understood the concept of him being ready to step in for Cutch right now.

    • He had a .236 BABIP. Considering he had 16 XBH’s in 37 games at AAA, I’d say he was extremely unlucky.

      • Interesting. But don’t we need to say a few hundred ABs at that level before we figure he’s good to go. Bucs have never rushed prospects.

        • Oh, absolutely and it was a SSS but even that SSS showed that he fairly unlucky considering his BABIP at other stops throughout his career. I also think he was recovering from an injury too.

      • That could also mean he had trouble getting the bat on the ball.

        Aaa defenses aren’t that good to justify that low of a babip

        • But not until after Super 2 had passed. Nobody who understands the system was suggesting Meadows would be replacing Cutch at the start of season if he was traded last winter.

          • The discussions of why it made sense to trade Cutch always included his replacement is ready. If they didn’t sign a Joyce type trading Cutch with Meadows not ready before June at earliest = giving up on season.

            • If you’re suggesting Pirates would’ve signed someone like Pagan as a bridge to Meadows than I concur.

              But to say his replacement (Meadows) was ready, is just flat wrong.

  4. Love Meadows. His swing is so simple. Very high floor assuming he stays healthy and could be a superstar eventually. Hopefully we don’t see him at PNC until September.

  5. Meadows needs to play at the AAA level as to getting bats and facing AAA pitching. He also needs to stay healthy for a full season. He will be up at some point but no reason to rush him until he is ready. I think no matter what, Cutch will not see 2018 as a Pirate. If he is the old Cutch or close to it, he will be on the block at the TDL or after the season. Bucs need to manage that potential asset much like Melancon.

    • Managing the asset of Cutch much like Melancon?
      So are you suggesting Pirates wait until trade deadline of ’18 season to move him? Or maybe move him for young talent at this trade deadline while simultaneously shitcanning any shot of postseason play?

      This is exactly how the Pirates managed the Melancon asset.

  6. I’m going to hope he makes his MLB debut this season but only because there was no injuries and Cutch was on fire in the 1st half so the Pirates sold high on him 😉

    • I get your point, but if the Pirates are in playoff contention at all this year, it would be really hard to trade McCutchen during the season – especially if he is on fire. If McCutchen has a so-so first half and Meadows is playing well, that would be quite different.

      • I was just teasing Tim a bit because it was all worst case scenario, so I was injecting a little glass half full action into the equation. I’m in no rush to get rid of Cutch.

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