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
Hometown: Grayson, Ga
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.