Pirates Prospect Interview: Austin Meadows

After missing time Austin Meadows is playing baseball again. The 2013 Bucs first-round draft pick injured his left hamstring in spring training in early March, with his rehabilitation taking much longer than initially expected. After joining the West Virginia Power the 19-year-old OF is batting .321 with one home run and three RBI. PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko spoke with Meadows.

GVB -- The injury set you back a lot longer than you expected, didn't it?

AM -- It was just a freak accident, I was getting back into it and it happened again higher up in my hamstring. I’ve was out four-and-a-half, five months and it was a learning experience. I’ve always had tight hamstrings, but never had a pop or a strain. It was a big adjustment (not being able to play) but I learned a lot. I worked out a lot and got in shape at Pirate City down in Florida. I really learned a lot and I’m glad to be here now.

GVB – What kind of things did you do to stay in baseball type shape?

AM – I worked out at Pirate City and we had a rehab program. I got back on the field about four times a week, running and then getting back in the cage, I did a lot of sprints and that kind of stuff. A lot of field work as well.

GVB – How is you timing after being sidelined that long?

AM – It's going really good, I worked really hard especially off the field as well as on the field. I worked with a lot of good coaches in Florida. We worked on hitting off the velocity machine and hitting off live pitchers in some simulated games.

GVB – You played 48 games in 2013 and hit a combined .316 with seven home runs and 22 RBI. Where you pleased with your first taste of professional baseball?

AM – I really enjoyed it, I enjoyed being around the guys and playing everyday. I was in the GCL and also got called up to Jamestown. That was a blast going from playing day games to playing night games. A big difference there and I really enjoyed it. The first year went very well for me.

GVB – What has been the biggest adjustment for you in pro ball?

AM – The biggest adjustment has probably been the consistency in the game and especially taking care of your body playing everyday you've got to take care of your body. You might not have a good day especially coming out the next day and trying to stay consistent and trying to better the next day. That's the great thing about this game is playing everyday you can just come out the next day and if you have a bad game the day before, just come out and do better the next day.

GVB – Has game been faster for you each level that you move up?

AM – That is definitely true. In high school maybe the best pitcher you see is maybe 90 – 92, but I feel I got the feel for pro ball from the summer two years ago doing the All American games and with all the top talent around the country. That helped me out a lot.

GVB – How do feel about your approach at the plate?

AM – I feel like it's going good. My swing is feeling good right now, even though I had the hamstring injury.

GVB – How are things progressing with your defense?

AM – It's going good, I worked hard. It's coming along.

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