Meadows went 1-for-2 with a solo home run and a walk in a win over the Blue Jays on Saturday.
The big fly off lefty Ryan Borucki -- which barely snuck by the fair side of the right-field pole -- was Meadows' first home run in a Rays uniform. He last homered June 2 when he was still wearing Pirates garb. The 23-year-old figures to be a major part of Tampa Bay's long-term plans, considering he was part of the haul in the Chris Archer trade and his still-burgeoning talent as a hitter. He's added five stolen bases to the .289/.321/.451, five-homer line in his first 184 big-league plate appearances, so fantasy players would be wise to speculate on him in the late rounds of 2019 mixed drafts, though they'll have to watch how Tampa Bay's outfield and designated hitter pictures shake out heading into March.
Despite a previous remark from manager Kevin Cash that Meadows' playing time would likely be sparse, he's gone 3-for-7 with a double, three RBI, a stolen base and two runs over the last two games.
Meadows stepped in as replacement for Ji-Man Choi at designated hitter in Friday night's game when the latter exited with knee soreness and racked up all of his aforementioned production in that contest. While he went 0-for-4 in Saturday's loss to the Blue Jays, the well-rounded effort the prior night offers a glimpse at Meadows' diverse skill set. That performance seemingly earned him a start in right field Saturday, and he could be set for more playing time than originally envisioned over the last week of the season if the Rays are eliminated from postseason contention.
Meadows will be called up from Triple-A Durham on Thursday.
Meadows remained at the Triple-A level over the first couple weeks of this month, helping power the Bulls to the International League title. Since coming over to Tampa Bay's organization in late July, Meadows has slashed .302/.359/.636 with 10 home runs and 25 RBI in 36 games. He did play in 49 games for the Pirates earlier this year, hitting .292 with a .795 OPS during his first taste of the big leagues. With Tommy Pham, Kevin Kiermaier and Mallex Smith patrolling the Rays' outfield, it's unlikely Meadows will see regular playing time, but look for the 23-year-old to receive some opportunities down the stretch.
Meadows' two-hit performance Saturday against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre helped lead Triple-A Durham to the International League title. He will remain in the minors at least through Tuesday's Triple-A Championship game against Memphis.
Meadows has been stuck in the minors since being traded as part of the package for Chris Archer at the deadline. He looks very much big-league ready, as he's hit .344/.394/.771 with 10 homers in 27 games for Durham since the trade. He has a shot to earn at least a few at-bats for the Rays following Tuesday's game if called up, but Tommy Pham, Kevin Kiermaier and Mallex Smith have the starting outfield spots locked down.
Meadows is hitting .333/.388/.708 with six home runs, one steal and a 9:7 K:BB in 72 at-bats with Triple-A Durham.
He has hit a new gear since getting traded to the Rays, particularly in the power department. Meadows hit just two home runs in 42 games with Triple-A Indianapolis and five homers in 49 MLB games with the Pirates, but he has always had plus raw power. The Rays seem intent on letting Meadows finish out the minor-league season before presumably recalling him when rosters expand in September. He is the top position player in the minors to stash in redraft leagues.
|9/30/2018 vs Toronto|
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|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2014||AFX-West Virginia Power||38||146||18||47||13||1||3||15||14||30||2||3||.388||.486||.322|
|2017||ASX-West Virginia Black||5||21||2||5||1||0||0||3||3||3||0||0||.333||.286||.238|