Austin Meadows is an outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, and what many people have already tabbed as the next big thing in baseball. Meadows is currently playing at the Triple-A level with the Indianapolis Indians, where he will fine tune his skills before arriving in Pittsburgh. On Sunday we were lucky enough to speak in the dugout before the Indians defeated the Clippers 9-3. Here is our conversation.
BHQ: What’s it like to be drafted out of high school?
Meadows: Yeah it’s cool man. I remember being drafted in my living room with my whole family there. A lot of friends. Really cool to be able to go through that process out of high school. Being early in the first round was definitely a blessing. Especially being up there with a lot of top talent in the world, college or high school. It was a lot of fun. I’ve definitely learned a lot up to this point.
BHQ: Speaking of top talent, your friend Clint Frazier was drafted what– four picks before you?
Meadows: Um, I’m trying to think. I was nine and he was five.
BHQ: What’s that like to have a friend you’ve known since you’re nine, ten years old, be in that same position as you?
Meadows: It was cool man. Our families are very close and to be able to go through that process together was definitely something I won’t forget. Growing up together, playing with each other, playing against each other in high school and then being able to be drafted early in the first round together was obviously not likely, but being able to go through that was definitely really cool.
BHQ: It’s no secret you’ve started the year slow but you’ve really turned it on lately. What’s lead to that? Have you changed what you’re eating before games or what’s going on man?
Meadows: I try not to be superstitious. For me, just going up to the plate and be aggressive. These guys can pitch up here. They have experience and they know what they’re doing up there. I think for me it’s just knowing the same thing. Knowing what I want to do up there and having an approach. I’ve really been able to solidify that lately. You know, obviously every now and then you get bad breaks. That’s baseball, it’s a game of failure, but going up there and having a planned approach is what’s been helping me.
BHQ: While you have this hot streak there’s been a lot of talk about a call up. What are your thoughts on the whole Super 2 arbitration process. You know the Cubs did it with Kris Bryant. They kept him in the minors for a little while to extend his window there. What are your thoughts on something like that?
Meadows: You know I really don’t get into that kind of stuff. That’s obviously for the front office to handle and certain things like that. For me I try to just go out there and play. I try to play my game. Obviously being human it tends to creep in people’s heads but I try to stay away from the media, try to stay away from all that kind of stuff and take care of what I can here because there’s always stuff to work on, and for me I know that time will come to be called up to the show. For me I just take care of what I can and that’ll work out for itself.
BHQ: What aspect of your game do you think needs the most work right now, and what aspect of your game do you think is the strongest?
Meadows: You know obviously there’s really not one thing to boil it down to but I think that you can always work on every part of your game whether it’s at the plate, I mean it could be things like bunting hits, getting on base. If you’re struggling, trying to break out of something like that, or on defense getting better jumps on the ball, or on the bases being more aware of certain situations. You know there’s really a lot. There’s so many aspects of this game. For me I think my strongest is just going out there and playing hard, being mentally tough out there, because at this point it’s just more of a mental grind. It’s more of a mental game. For me it’s facing that pitcher on the mound and having that approach, having that plan of what you want to do with that pitcher instead of just going up there and swinging. Just having that plan and having that approach like I said earlier is what has been helping me a lot. Going out there playing hard and trying to help the team win, that’s the main goal.
Blue HQ would like to thank Austin for his time, and also for being such a great ambassador for the sport and team to Central Indiana. Follow Austin on Twitter @Austin_Meadows and be sure to stay tuned to Blue HQ as we bring you Indians news all season, along with in-depth coverage of the Colts, Pacers and your favorite Indiana college teams.