Detroit Tigers: Parker Meadows going to have to pry into crowded outfield

(Detroit Free Press)
(Detroit Free Press) /

Detroit Tigers Parker Meadows is slowly making his way into a crowded outfield.

When the Detroit Tigers drafted Parker Meadows, it was pretty apparent that he would develop into something exciting. He may not be a top-tier prospect like Riley Greene, but he is certainly a second-tier prospect who can be more than a serviceable option in the big leagues.

Meadows, the brother of Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Austin Meadows, is just a 21-year old who is making his way through the Tigers farm system as time goes on. He was drafted out of high school and has found himself playing through Rookie-ball and Class-A ball over the past few years.

Meadows, a tall (6-foot-5) right fielder, is going to bring a lot to the table for the Tigers as he continues to work his way to the big leagues. In 2020, Meadows was added to the 60-man player pool, so he got his chance to participate at Toledo’s alternate training site after he was added to the 60-man group of players.

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In 2019, the last year he has recorded stats due to COVID-19, Meadows played in 126 games for the Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps where he hit .221/.296/.312 with seven home runs and 40 RBI in his second season playing in the minors.

A 2018 second-rounder, he is still maturing, growing, and developing as he continues along on his journey to the Motor City to don the old English “D” in the big leagues. Meadows drives the ball well, he makes good contact and can barrel balls up.

However, he has seen an issue with swings and misses, as well as high strikeout numbers. If he can iron this out as he progresses, he could be a solid corner-hitting outfielder at the big league level.

His arm is pretty good and could land him a job in right field, not to mention he does have some decent speed for his size.

This is all fine and dandy, but what happens when Meadows gets to Triple-A and is stuck because of a crowded outfield?

Parker Meadows could find himself in a tough spot when he is looking to crack the Detroit Tigers big league roster.

Looking at top prospect lists, Meadows is not in the top five or top ten; as mentioned, he’s a second-tier guy. He is still more than deserving of a chance in the big leagues, but could he get stuck between a rock and a hard place when moving through the organization?

Anyone living under that rock Meadows is going to be stuck between knows the Tigers have a crowded outfield right now. The names in the outfield are going to dissipate by the time that Meadows is ready to make his appearance in the big leagues, but it still may lead to a logjam.

Former 2018 first-round draft choice Riley Greene is expected to anchor down the outfield whenever he makes his way up to the big leagues. He is young like Meadows, so that it could be a few years, but as a top-tier prospect, he will likely be on a faster track.

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Not to mention Daz Cameron is going to get his chances in the big leagues after he was introduced to the big leagues during the 2020 60-game sprint season.

Along with Cameron was Derek Hill, who also is deserving of a chance in the big leagues.

Due to injuries, Troy Stokes Jr. has not played a game for the Tigers, and he will likely be given looks even if he is out of Detroit before Meadows even hits Triple-A. The Tigers are likely going to keep Victor Reyes as a part of this outfield since he is in pre-arbitration years.

JaCoby Jones is in arbitration year two but might be one of the players the Tigers keep around. Christin Stewart has had his chance and has not proven anything, but he is still here; nonetheless, he is also in his pre-arbitration years.

Do not forget the Tigers selected an outfielder, Akil Baddoo, in the Rule five draft from the 2020 offseason. He will likely be treated like Victor Reyes was, hoping he can get it together and remain a part of this outfield.

With all of that in focus, the Detroit Tigers might witness Parker Meadows walking into quite the crowd as he develops.

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However, the good thing about this is, Meadows has time; he can take his time and fine-tune his game, maybe helping him make the jump to become an even better prospect than he is projecting to be right now.