Rays 2020 Player Profile: Austin Meadows
By Seth Carter
Tampa Bay Rays young slugger, Austin Meadows had a breakout 2019. Here’s a rundown of his stats and what to expect in 2020.
Birthplace: Atlanta, GA
Acquired via trade 07/31/2018 (Chris Archer for Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow, Shane Baz)
2019 Salary: $575,400
Free Agent: 2024
VS LHP: .275/.316/.521
VS RHP .298/.384/.576
- In 2019, Meadows ranked sixth in the American League in slugging and eighth in OPS.
- Meadows’s seven triples were good for fifth best in the American League.
- In his first full season, Meadows represented the Rays on the AL All-Star team and was 14th in MVP voting.
- Player of the month in the American League for September.
- Meadows crushed 21 home runs after the All-Star break.
- Meadows is a former first-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was selected ninth overall.
- Hit .311 and slugged .602 with runners in scoring position.
2020 Steamer Projections
Austin Meadows was a key cog in the Rays 96-win season in 2019. He was a fixture in the lineup batting mostly first and third. Meadows will return to the Rays as one of the most important offensive pieces in 2020.
Meadows increased his pull percentage by nearly six percentage points last season to 45.1%, improving his power numbers over 2018. His hard-hit percentage increased from 37.1% in 2018 to 45.5% in 2019.
Meadows is Fangraph’s 19th ranked outfielder heading into the 2020 season. Meadows was hyped as a five-tool player coming up through the minor leagues but his defensive metrics have not born those results. Last season Meadows had -6 defensive runs saved and an ultimate zone rating of -1.6. He has a plus arm and logged 44 games at DH for the Rays last year.
What a first full season for the 24-year-old slugger. Meadows ranked near the top of the league in several offensive categories and broke out as a legit lead-off and three-hole hitter for a 96-win team. He more than lived up to the hype he had in the Minor Leagues. He won’t turn 25 until May of the 2020 season and the arrow is pointing upward for the talented young outfielder. Meadows could be a fixture in the Tampa Bay Rays lineup for years to come.
*Stats for this profile were harvested from ESPN, Steamer, Baseball-reference, and Fangraphs.
What are you looking forward to from Austin Meadows in 2020? Let us know in the comments below!