Austin Meadows and Lolo Sanchez Rank Among the Top Center Field Prospects

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.

  • I just don’t get why the Team can’t send a guy like Lolo to Morgantown?
    It’s perfect for his age and frankly a nice chance for Pittsburgh fans to get invested in an up and coming prospect by having him play in a fairly local market.
    I may be wrong but isn’t that one of the reasons for the affiliation there?
    Seems like very few Latin players come through the Black Bears org.

  • The Bucs pushed Michael De la Cruz and that didn’t turn out well. Hope the result for Sanchez is better.

    • I don’t believe MDLC ever put up a season like Lolo did last year. I think this is an apples and oranges comparison.

    • MDLC was pushed in a different (maybe worse) way. He went from the DSL to the Gulf Coast League in America when he was only 17 (although he turned 18 that season). MDLC “failed” his first year and was held back for a second year (at 18) in which he did much better. But not as well as Lolo, who was 18 in the GCL last year.

      MDLC has not yet made it to the WV Power. He made a stop in Bristol and at the short season NYP league last year at age 21. Lolo would be skipping those two steps and going to WV at age 19.

      • Could be two different personalities. Maybe Lolo’s just ready for his . . . solo?

        • I gave a long answer about Michael de la Cruz in the comments a few days ago, but without going into major detail, he wasn’t ready for the jump to the US and Sanchez was. Extremely different personalities, but not so much in the talent aspect at age 16-17. As for de la Cruz in his first GCL season, he had a lot go wrong, very bad skin infection on his leg, sprained his ankle, tried to play through it, then hurt it worse. By August, he was just homesick and wanted to go home. When he finally got home, he treated it like a six-month party. Pirates asked him to put on weight, he lost ten pounds and he had no business coming in ten pounds lighter. He was extremely talented in the DSL, but that’s where he belonged in 2014 again because he wasn’t ready to be an adult with responsibilities yet and the constant injuries wore him down mentally.

  • As someone posted yesterday:

    Paraphrased….it is better to have prospects with potential (and they fail) than to not have very many prospects with potential.

    I had never looked at it that way.

  • I like hearing this. Would be great if we had someone in the top five at a position but what the heck