Advertisement:

Scouting Report: Austin Meadows

Scouting Report: Austin Meadows

Here's another scouting report from Cubs Den contributor Kevin Gallo.  This time it's on the red-hot Austin Meadows, who may be the highest ceiling player in the draft.  If you read Patrick Mooney's piece today, Jason McLeod strongly suggested that the Cubs prefer to take position players in the draft.

“If we go that route, hopefully our guy turns into that kind of guy. But if you look back at the draft, you’ll also see a lot of guys that went 1, 2, 3 that were pitchers and kind of just had mediocre careers. So pitching comes from everywhere. Typically, (with) your position players, the star guys come at the top of the draft.”

We gave you a Kris Bryant report earlier.  Bryant is the best all-around college bat in the draft.  Meadows may have that distinction at the high school level.  Clint Frazier wows with bat speed but many scouts think Meadows has the better overall approach along with very good bat speed and the ability to hit for power.  Another advantage is that Meadows has a better chance to stick in CF, where the burden on his bat isn't as big.  He may be as close to a 5 tool player as you'll find in this draft.

Of course, the Cubs already have last year's draft pick, Albert Almora, as the future CF'er along with Brett Jackson at the minor league level.  But remember that good bats that can play up the middle positions are desirable assets because they can easily move out to the corners and handle those positions defensively.  Most scouts feel Meadows has enough bat to profile in an OF corner.

Scouting Report: Austin Meadows

by Kevin Gallo

Players Name:  Austin Meadows

Position: OF

Hometown: Grayson, Ga

HT: 6’3

WT: 200lbs

Bats/ Throws: L/L

Body:  Has a long lean body with rounded shoulders.  His body is still maturing and has the ability to gain more muscle and his frame could carry an extra 30lbs without a problem.  This will help with Meadows power development but may slow him down a step.

Swing: Meadows has a slightly open stance and high hands.  He takes a short low stride towards the plate this helps keep his hips closed until the last second.  His swing can be long at times but is smooth and quick.  He does have a hole in his swing that some people have seemed to want to dwell on.    If he would lower his hands the holes would be minimize and his hit tool would be viewed as above average to plus once again.  He also generates great bat speed and has loft to his swing, these two things combine to become plus power.

Base running:  Meadows has plus speed running a 6.31 in the 60.  He shows plus instincts on the bases.

Defense: Meadows seems to glide in the outfield and cover a ton of ground.  He has a plus arm in the OF and can stay in CF without any problems.

Summary:   Meadows maybe the most gifted player in this year’s draft.  There are a lot of people that have criticized his swing, but what people have to remember is that we are talking about an 18 yr old player who is still learning the game.  His swing will be retooled a few times before his career is done.  He will have a great career and has the ability to become a future All-Star for many years.

Filed under: MLB Draft

Tags: Austin Meadows

Comments

Leave a comment
  • I'd be happy if the Cubs took him #2. You can never collect enough 5-tool players.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Agreed. Especially when they appear to have good approaches.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    What is his current stat line, do you know?

  • Awesome report! Keep up the great work! I still think they will end up taking a college pitcher, despite what McLeod said

  • I think McLeod just confirmed everything I have been saying for the last month.

  • Patrick Mooney just said the Cubs are focusing on 3 pitchers... Mark Appel, Sean Manaea and Jonathan Gray.

  • In reply to Caps:

    But would came out of the scouting director's mouth?

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Well, good point... The FO has a preference for position players and there's been some indication that they will go with a position player in the first round, especially players that play up the middle.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Keep in mind that he was speaking in generalities. McLeod never going to play his hand. Could be some smoke there. I think all things being equal, he picks a hitter, but the college arms are the strength at the top of the draft.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    There will be a lot of very good arm in rounds 2 thru 5 too. But not as many bats.

  • He sounds very good. There seems to be six guys I would choose from for the #2 pick. I am glad we have Theo and Jed doing our picking. It is not going to be easy.

  • In reply to John57:

    Agreed. There's about 6 guys or so who could conceivably go at the top of the draft.

  • Take a hitter and then a pitcher with the 2nd and or 3rd.
    May never draft this high again can't pass up a 5-tool guy.

  • About the game, I like the fact that DeVoss was aggressive instead of taking too many pitches.

  • In reply to Caps:

    I would like to see Zeke be a bitg more agressive as well.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yep, he had 2 good ab's... A 2 pitch ab that resulted in an rbi single, but then he worked the count full and fouled off some pitches... It resulted in a K, but this is the kind of game, in general, you want to see from him. a nice balance between being aggressive and being patient.

  • That McLeod interview does raise an eyebrow, but I wonder if he's trying to talk the Astros out of picking Appel.

  • In reply to Taft:

    Ha! Could be. Always have to be wary about what a front office says in public.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I was thinking this could be a before the draft one upmanship between McLeod, the Astro's and Boras. You make it known that you prefer a position player before you look at asking price for Appel. Hoping that you do not have to go to far over slot. At the same time you put the idea in the Astro's head about the number of failed top of the draft arms. Win/Win.

  • Thanks for the report, these are always intesting to read. I wish we could have them all. It will be a tough decision. I still prefer a potential ace, but if they go with a bat, I prefer Bryan because he performed at a higher level than a high school kid. Remember Patterson and Montanez were top high school prospects that didn't pan out. We can probably add Vitters, but the jury is still not completey in. I think a top college hitter has a better liklihood of success at MLB.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to cubman:

    Patterson and Montanez didn't have the coaching staff in the system that this FO put into place. So I wouldn't use them as a good bench mark.

  • In reply to cubman:

    You're welcome. And agreed that college bats are usually the most successful.

  • It really doesn't matter what the Cubs pick. The Astros can pick who ever they want. I am also hearing some high numbers for an Asking price for Appel.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to KGallo:

    McLeod also just talked to Len and JD, and said, "without tipping our hand, we're focusing on about four players" or something to that effect.

    Based on everything that has been said to this point, I'd guess their names are "Appel," "Meadows," "Frazier," and "Bryant."

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think you maybe one player and I can't say which one without upsetting people.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to KGallo:

    Who do you think the fourth is then?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Can't say but I looks like a more equal split.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Gray?

  • In reply to KGallo:

    OK, let me try. Take out Frazier from that list and add... Manaea?

  • In reply to Taft:

    Let's ask you both could be right or wrong. I know who the 4 they are seeing the most of.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Ask = say

  • In reply to KGallo:

    The "Boras factor" has to be taken into account. He has the
    He has Appel and another very top pitcher in this draft. Can't
    afford to mess this up. Boras can't be controlled.

  • I suspect on the scouting report on Josh Vitters when he was in high school was similar, if not better, than this report on Meadows. Cubs would be crazy to take a high school bat over Appel, who seems to mirror Mark Prior's college success and dominance. Appel seems to be the closest thing to a "sure thing" in this year's draft. Seems that a high school bat is the riskiest pick since there are so many additional levels of pitching that bat has to go through to get to the MLB. Indeed, I remember a piece by John a month or so ago detailing the lousy odds of any top prospects getting to the show -- including studs like Almora and Soler.

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    They already did it last year.

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    Meadows way, way more athletic than Vitters, but Vitters had about the best swing most scouts had seen at the high school level. He fooled a lot of scouts, not just the Cubs. Word is he would have been taken with the next pick if the Cubs didn't take him.

  • I'm nervous about taking an arm this high. Position players are more likely to develop true to their perceived potential. Right now I still like Frazier the best because he seems to beat Meadows head to head every time they compete either together or against each other. Bryant could also be a beast at the plate. I just hope the Cubs have good scouts and lots of luck.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    With a pick this high it should not be a pitcher unless his stuff
    is that over powering and the hitters don't live up to their stats

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Frazier does seem to rise to the occasion, but keep in mind that the baseball season is a grind. I think you have to take the player who is going to be the best day in and day out.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I don't follow amateur ball at all but considering the huge differences in talent level that there is in low level baseball. Taking anything meaningful from a handful of games that they play seems to be pointlless. Stats in general seem to be pretty useless as any prospect will have astronomical stats in highschool.

  • In reply to Andrew:

    Stats on high school don't mean as much. It is more of a scouting think in HS. You can look a little bit more at them in College though.

  • fb_avatar

    Kevin, thanks for the report. Your contributions to this blog are par excellence. I read Mooney's article earlier today. It won't surprise me a bit if they go with a position player, but it won't surprise me if they go with a pitcher either. What I've believed all along though is that, for them to go with a pitcher at #2 overall, they're going to have to be convinced that kid has a shot to beat the trend. Otherwise, they'll go with a bat, probably Bryant or Meadows, and I'm not convinced Houston won't act likewise.

    This is how I see it on draft day. If Houston and Boras can work out a pre-draft deal for Appel that both sides can live with, which is unlikely to me being that they couldn't do so before, then the Cubs have an easier decision. Manaea and Gray are not as sure of things as Bryant and Meadows. However, if Appel is still there, it's a much harder decision. Pitchers with his floor and his ceiling just don't come along often, and he may prove worth the risk, especially considering he would also fill the biggest need.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Thank you.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to KGallo:

    When you look at the three top bats in this draft (Bryant, Meadows and Frazier), who has the best chance to be a perennial all-star? It's Bryant and Meadows. Appel has the highest floor of any of the pitchers, and yet he still has the ceiling to be a number one type of starter. He also fills the biggest need. So to me, we're only talking about three players.

    Manaea's velo hasn't been consistent so far this season, and Gray, as much as triple digit fastballs send a shiver down my leg, doesn't have the track record. This is a pick the Cubs can't afford to screw up. It's probably more important than last year's pick. There has to be something you really just love about Gray or Manaea to go with either.

    I think that, assuming Appel is still there and the Cubs think he can be reasonably signed, the only thing to keep them from taking Appel is the amount of abuse Marquez has put Appel's right arm through in the last four years, and if that is something they aren't comfortable with, then it's Bryant of Meadows, but my guess is that Bryant or Meadows won't be there when the Cubs draft if Appel is. If all three of them are still there at number two overall, then it's because the Astros went with Gray. I don't think the Astros will go with Manaea. They'll avoid him soley because of Scott Boras, just as they did and will do again with Appel.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I like all of those players and don't think I there is really a wrong choice. Some will take longer then others to get to the majors but they all have a good shot. Bryant, Appel and Gray (Gray if they put him in the pen first) have the quickest return time. Manaea will take a little longer but will be up before the two OFers. All have all star potential.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Gray was 8-4 with a low 3's ERA and a 3 K to 1 BB rate last year this year His numbers are phenominal against VERY good competetion , He has beaten UCLA/ TCU / NW St , who by the way I played for and is a very good baseball program . His track record is pretty darn salty playing down there . Almora was my guy last year before it was in style , Gray is my guy this year because I tell You what He will be a better pro than Appel barring injury on either Book it . He is a bulldog , Appel comes off as plastic and the make up rumors are getting louder , whether that is Boras or his family or Him or combination of . I think Theo and company will make the right call in the end.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    One scout said the Cubs don't want a pitcher. They just want Appel. If Appel is not there, they may just go position player.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    The good news is that the Cubs have the John Galt, Francisco d'Anconia and Ragnar Danneskjöld of professional baseball in Epstein, Hoyer and McLeod. So whoever the number two overall pick ends up being, it's going to be someone I feel really good about.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Never could finish "Atlas Shrugged".

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Geez, the Cubs are being led by fictional characters now? This can't be good news.

  • In reply to JoePepitone:

    It would be good news if we got Roy Hobbs.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Just don't sign him to a multi-year contract. I hear he's injury prone.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to JoePepitone:

    If Ayn Rand owned a Major League Baseball team, based solely on rational self interest, she would pick Epstein, Hoyer and McLeod to run it. That's where the Atlas Shrugged comparisons come into play.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    That's almost how I would approach it if I were them. If Appel is there then take him, if he isn't there then take the best position player. I like Manaea and Gray, but I don't know that I would risk my 2nd pick on them. Appel seems like more of a sure thing.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I don't think Houston goes after Appel (I could be wrong, of course)... I think they'll follow the same path they took last year... They'll pick up a guy that's ranked lower so they can save some money to overslot for a guy in the 2nd round.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Caps:

    Correa was really rising up the ranks, and there was no real consensus number one last year. So I don't think the Astros overreached by any means on him, but the fact that he saved them money certainly helped his case with the Astros for sure. Had Correa still been there at 6th overall and Almora not, I suspect the Cubs would've taken him.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    The Cubs liked Correa, from what I hear and I don't think the Astros overreached, but to me it is obvious that one of the main factors to pick Correa was the fact that he saved them some money so they could overslot in the 2nd round.

  • Too bad you can't trade draft picks in MLB. To be honest, I'm not totally sold on any of the top guys. HS bat seems so far away and risky, Appel with the innings on his arm, Manea being a little inconsistent, etc. I like McLeod's philosophy on taking bats early though. If you could trade picks, it would be great for the Cubs to trade back a few slots and get the best catcher (Denney?) to address that hole in their org and then go pitching heavy like they did last year including with whatever 2nd/3rd round picks they could garner from trading back...

    But that's obviously just a pipe dream and Appel seems to have the highest floor/ceiling ratio so I guess I'd go with him still... though I'd be secretly worried about that arm falling off soon.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    There is a college catcher who is a little under the radar but is starting to get some attention Stuart Turner from Ole Miss. Kirby had him is his latest mock as the Cubs 4th round pick. He is a gold glove caliber and can hit batting .400 with 14 extra base hits and 36 RBI in over 80 AB. Very good player and could be a very good pick in the 4th or 5th round.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Thanks for the info.! Sounds like he could be a good pick. Let's hope we can get him.

  • fb_avatar

    John and Kevin, did you guys see this?

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2013/3/23/4139314/2013-mlb-mock-draft-version-one

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2013-mlb-draft-4/30877/

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Kirby did a good job.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Yes I have. I don't agree with a lot of their opinions on players. There first mock had Chris Rivera as the 1st pick.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Yes I did. Good stuff from Dan.

  • What a game by Alcantara, well done for the kid.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Favorite play from him may have been that nice easy swing where he still hit over the fence. Unfortunately foul.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I am a big fan of his also.

  • Since we now have a profession staff in the minor league system
    we don't have to fear that our top minor league talent will be
    wasted and not developed to its fullest.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I'll always fear that.

  • john I know this is off subject but why is that bruce levine is the only one who thinks the white sox have a good farm system and that they have some of the best young pitching in the minors ? I am not a white sox hater or anything but I am just curious because I read other experts and they say while they drafted ok last year they still have a very long way to go.

  • In reply to seankl:

    I don't know why he thinks that. I don't agree with him. They have a lot of role players, bullpen arms, 5th starter types...but so does every system.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    He thinks that because that's what the White Sox people who are giving him the scoop are telling him. He's still plugged into their front office in a way he is no longer plugged into the Cubs' front office. Him and a whole bunch of other mainstream media sports journalists in Chicago would probably rather have the old Cubs' regime in charge for the sole fact it made their jobs easier.

  • Not sure where to post this, but is anyone else worried about Feldman? 4 more dingers given up?

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    The Cubs have to have at least 1 pitcher the fans don't like to see take the mound.

  • I hope he ain't this year's Silva.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Volstad?

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    If he's 9-2 early, he will be mice trade bait.

  • Of the three best bats, Meadows is the only left-handed one. Does that make a difference with Almora, Soler and Baez all hitting from the other side? I doubt something like that would be factored in, but what do I know...

    Kevin? John? All things being equal, is that ever a consideration?

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Not for me.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    At best its a tie-breaker. You have to go with the guy who you think is the best player. If you had, say, Frazier and Meadows with an equal grade, maybe that comes into play.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's I felt too

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Johnathon Gray vs. Kansas, 03/28
    IN H R ER BB K
    9.0 2 1 1 0 12

  • speaking of left handed hitting outfielders, i had a thought today.

    if jacoby ellsbury has an injury riddled year then theres a chance that the sox either trade him midseason or dont offer him arbitration at the end of the season. either way there is a chance he will not be tied to draft pick compensation going into free agency. if this is the case i think he would be an excellent fit for the cubs.

    while he could sign with a team closer to contention, the cubs can offer him what most other teams cant. the option to be traded mid season if the team is out of contention so he can cash in during 2015 free agency with no draft pick compensation. if the cubs are contending then he will have the option to negotiate with theo/jed on an extension to become part of the future core.

    the familiarty between ellsbury and theo/jed and boras and theo/jed could be a huge advantage in convincing ellsbury to come to chicago. and with brett jackson (hopefully) in center to begin 2014, ellsbury can move to left (and/or right pending a soriano trade), where he would be a plus defender, to preserve his legs and keep him healthier.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    I think if Ellsbury came cheap and Jackson didn't work out then it becomes a consideration.

  • Johnathon Gray vs. Kansas 03/28
    IN H R ER BB K
    9 2 1 1 0 12

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Quasimodo:

    Nice outing.

    Was one of the hits a home run, or just fantastically bad luck?

  • Mark Appel vs. Washington State 03/28
    IN H R R BB K
    9 4 0 0 1 10

    Washington State and Kansas are pretty parallel in records.

  • I've got Meadows pegged for #1 overall. Josh Hamilton had some holes in his swing too when he was 18. Still does for that matter but he's been handsomely compensated anyway. Pretty much can't go wrong at the top of a draft with a guy like Meadows or Frazier. I'd be ok with either one of them. Gray is growing on me too though. If I had a gun to my head I'd have to say I'm still hoping for Appel but it changes every day :)

Leave a comment