Meadows made his MLB debut for the Pirates in May, and has already flashed five-tool potential in the big leagues: above-average hitting ability with plus raw power that’s starting to show in games, all with the defensive and speed to contribute on the bases and with the glove. Meadows was a centerpiece of the blockbuster trade that brought Chris Archer to Pittsburgh, and he’s now one of the central pieces of Tampa Bay’s rebuild.
Meadows is a big, physical player — thick throughout his broad frame, and while there is some length to the swing, he’s managing the strikeouts well (21% over his 165 PA’s to date), and it’s generating solid carry into the gaps. Though the approach has been more aggressive (35:8 K:BB rate) and pull-oriented in his limited big-league at-bats, 1/3 of his knocks have been for extra bases, including five home runs. As he gains some comfort in a MLB box, he should start to show the more patient and disciplined approach he displayed in the minors, and develop into a more consistent run producer with regular, hard contact.
On defense, Meadows was deployed at all three outfield positions, where he flashed a plus arm with carry and accuracy, plenty for any outfield spot. He showed above-average reads and reactions on the grass — skills that make up for his average speed, but there’s clearly enough athleticism there to see him as a future-regular in CF, where he made 15 starts for the Bucs prior to being dealt. On the base paths, he shows solid base-running instincts to help the average run tool play well, and there’s enough there to steal 15-20 bags per season. He has the look of a future Role 60 impact player at his best, capable of holding down center field for a first-division club, and making an All-Star appearance here and there.