Meadows: "I realize that my career is taking off."

Former Pirates Outfielder Reflects on his Journey to the All Star Game.

Noah Hiles
July 09, 2019 - 12:24 pm

Photo By: Noah Hiles

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CLEVELAND (93.7 The Fan) – As Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Austin Meadows sat happily at his podium during the American League All Star availability on Monday afternoon, there were many emotions going through the head of the former Pirates prospect.

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Just one year ago, Meadows was in a situation completely different to the one he is in now. Rather than being the leadoff hitter on a team trying to chase down the New York Yankees for the lead in the American League Eastern Division, the 24 year-old was simply trying to make the most of any playing time he could receive at the major league level.

“It’s been pretty amazing,” Meadows said as he reflected upon the journey to his first big league All Star game. “It’s been a crazy five or six years for me but I realize that my career is taking off. I am just looking forward to being in an everyday lineup for Tampa Bay and helping the team win.”

Of course, Meadows’ exit from Pittsburgh is one that Pirates fans will not soon forget. On the final day of the 2018 trade deadline the Rookie was sent to Tampa Bay along with notable pitching prospects Tyler Glasnow and Shane Baz in exchange for two time All Star Chris Archer in a trade that sent shockwaves throughout all of baseball.

For Meadows, the move was something he did not expect the Pirates to make but ultimately one that he is thankful for.

“As a player, when you get traded for the first time you really don’t know how to handle it,” said Meadows. “For me, being able to go through the process with Tyler, we kind of went through it together and realized that the Rays wanted us. They were willing to give up Chris Archer for us to come over. It was more exciting than anything. Shocking at first, but exciting.”

Although Meadows is now competing in the American League, it does not mean that he has forgotten about his former teammates. When asked if he has been paying attention to the seasons his former minor league teammates, such as Bryan Reynolds and Kevin Newman are having, Meadows was quick to express his happiness for the duo.

“I still definitely follow them,” said Meadows. “I check all of their highlights. I love keeping up with guys that I have established relationships with. I definitely wish them nothing but the best. They have had an unbelievable year and it has been a lot of fun to watch.”

Meadows enters the All Star break leading the Tampa Bay in batting average (.289) and OPS (.866). He has 12 home runs and 41 RBI at the top of the Rays order.