Tampa Bay Rays: Austin Meadows Ranked AL’s 3rd Best Left Fielder
By Seth Carter
Tis’ the season to do rankings! The Tampa Bay Rays’ minor league systems have been repeatedly honored by ranking after ranking, but let’s not forget about their big league club.
MLB.com is running through their top-ten positional rankings for the 2020 season and the Tampa Bay Rays have found a few of their everyday players among the best thus far.
Major League Baseball’s top 10 list for left fielders in 2020 has two Rays from the 2019 team in the middle of it. Current Rays’ star Austin Meadows and former Rays’ outfielder, Tommy Pham find themselves ranked right in the heart of the discussion.
Pham was sent packing to the National League this offseason, leaving Meadows as the third-highest ranked left fielder in the American League.
Here’s a look at MLB.com’s official left field rankings:
- Juan Soto
- Michael Brantley
- Bryan Reynolds
- Tommy Pham
- Mark Canha
- Austin Meadows
- Joc Pederson
- Kyle Schwarber
- David Peralta
- Giancarlo Stanton
The 6’3, 220lb left fielder for the 2020 Rays is coming off of an All-Star season in which he blasted 33 home runs and made everyone feel great about the Chris Archer trade.
Meadows led the club in several offensive categories such as home runs, triples, runs scored, runs batted in, intentional walks, and batting average.
Meadows posted a 3.8 WAR last season with an OPS+ of 143. He finished sixth in the AL in slugging and 14th in MVP voting.
Meadows exceeded his rookie limits in 2018, but 2019 was really his first full season.
Meadows Steamer Projections have him slashing .271/.337/.491 with 25 Homers, 79 RBI, and 13 SB. While those numbers are certainly very good projections, I think Rays’ fans are hoping for even more from the young superstar.
Taking the number six overall spot on MLB.com’s top 10 left fielders list is quite an accomplishment after his first full season in Tampa.
The remaining positional rankings are scheduled to be released by MLB.com as follows:
Feb. 1: Shortstops & Starting pitchers
Feb. 8: Relief Pitchers & Shortstops