Baseball America continued their rankings of the top prospects at each position on Wednesday morning with center fielders taking the center stage. It’s a very deep position, with the top 15 players on the list all making BA’s top 100 prospects list. They also note the solid talent that was just outside of their top 100 rankings, but they only gave the position a three star (out of five) ranking.
If you missed the earlier ones, here’s the brief recap. BA started with catchers, which was a shutout for the Pirates. I talked about the position in the article about Mason Martin making their list of the top first base prospects. Next up was second base, where Kevin Kramer ranked 12th. That was followed by the third base list on Monday morning and both Ke’Bryan Hayes and Colin Moran made that list. Yesterday was the shortstops, where Kevin Newman and Cole Tucker each made the top 20.
That leads us to center field today and both Austin Meadows and Lolo Sanchez made the list, which went 35 players deep. Meadows was ranked 46th overall by BA on their top 100 list, which placed him as the seventh best center field prospect. Sanchez was named as a potential breakout prospect outside of the top 100 by BA last week. He finished up 23rd on this list. Sounds like a low ranking, but remember that it’s just eight spots outside of the center fielders in the top 100 and many of those players in the 16-22 range were listed as players who just missed the top 100.
If he can remain healthy, then Meadows should be in Pittsburgh by June. His off-season workout has been centered around staying healthy and avoiding the same injuries in the past. That was also his focus last off-season, though he has changed things up some this winter with new workouts.
Sanchez could open up with the West Virginia Power this year. It will be an aggressive push considering he doesn’t turn 19 until after Opening Day and he hasn’t played above the Gulf Coast League, but he fits the mold of a player who the Pirates push. He has an advanced approach at the plate and his defense in center field is polished for a player his age. His overall package, which includes plus speed, gives the Pirates an exciting young prospect with huge upside.