BRADENTON, Fla. (93-7 The FAN) – The Pirates moved one of their biggest names Monday, yet it was not a surprise as the roster gets closer to 25.
Baseball America’s top Pirates prospect Austin Meadows was reassigned to the minors after a prolonged stay in Major League Camp.
“It’s cool to get that experience, it’s cool to get that competition,” Meadows said after hitting .326 in 43 at bats this Spring. “To be able to face that and build the confidence, it’s definitely a huge confidence booster facing guys that you’ve never faced before, that have been in the big leagues. It’s pretty cool to be up there against those guys.”
The 21-year-old Meadows admitted he was nervous at first, but he really learned the process of being a major leaguer.
“The way that guys go about their business, attitude is everything in this game,” Meadows said. “A lot of guys in here do really good in not letting the game define who they are. They really have fun every day and it shows on the field. They stay relaxed.”
Meadows did really build a routine. The lefty hitter became very regimented during his month-plus with the big leaguers, which is much more time than he thought he would get. The Atlanta native said he also tried not to put pressure on himself as he tried to put together good at-bats. Meadows had a .420 on base percentage in his near-team leading 20 games.
Meadows was into this fourth straight season hitting over a combined .300, with a .311 average in Double A-Altoona last year before a promotion to Triple A-Indianapolis. Then, it was a struggle, hitting a career low .214 in 37 games, including striking out once every four at bats.
It would be easy for that to turn to pressure for Meadows, a first-round pick back in 2013. The center fielder has been the target of websites, blogs and prospect rankings since he signed with the Pirates.
“It’s obviously an honor to be in those categories and be the next guy up, but I just try and stick to my game and let everything control itself,” Meadows said. “If I do pay attention to that stuff, it puts me in a different place. I try not to worry about the background noise and everyone saying certain things. The more you pay attention to stuff outside the lines, the harder it is for you to perform on the field.”