Prospect Stock Watch: Meadows, Mejia, Kieboom by Marc Hulet June 13, 2016 With the 2016 amateur draft now in the rearview mirror and a new wave of talented headed for the minor league later this month as the short-season leagues get going, let’s take a look at some of the talented holdovers from previous drafts. Austin Meadows | OF | Pirates ETA: 2017 Value: Rising The Pittsburgh Pirates currently have one of the best four-man outfields in the Majors and they’ll soon have to make room for Meadows. The young outfielder’s season got off to a slow start thanks to an injury but he’s looked sharp in his 41 games. He’s really doing a little bit of everything – at the plate (.962 OPS), in the field (handling center field) and on the base paths (8-for-11 in steals, 8 triples). Meadows, 21, doesn’t have to be added to the 40-man roster (and protected from the Rule 5 draft) until after the 2017 season so, while he’s likely to be promoted to triple-A during the summer, he’s likely not going to see The Show until next year – unless an unexpected and prolonged injury occurs to one of the veterans. Francisco Mejia | C | Indians ETA: 2019 (If he stays behind the plate) | 2018 (If he changes positions) Value: Increasing It’s been an ugly year for Indians backstops. First-stringer Yan Gomes is off to a terrible start at the plate (.561 OPS) and back-up Chris Gimenez has been equally bad (.553 OPS). The club also lost talented defensive whiz Roberto Perez to a potentially-season-ending injury after he appeared in just four games in 2016. Mejia himself is coming off of a disappointing first full season in the minors from 2015. Still, he’s just 20 and is enjoying himself the second time through the Midwest League. He’s hitting .338 through 50 games and has done a nice job of keeping his strikeouts under control at 15.5%. Mejia is also showing some gap pop and signs that he could eventually produce more over-the-fence pop. He has the necessary skills to remain behind the plate but there are questions over his desire to excel at the position. Spencer Kieboom | C | Nationals ETA: 2017 Value: Steady (but underrated) Kieboom doesn’t possess the same upside that the two players above him do but solid all-around catchers are hard to find. The Nationals’ No. 1 catcher Wilson Ramos is enjoying a breakout season but he is also being buoyed by a .350 BABIP (high for a slow-footed catcher). Kieboom – whose brother Carter was the club’s first round draft pick in 2016 – isn’t flashy but he has a solid defensive reputation that should earn him playing time, he gets on base at a solid clip and he can also step into the odd extra base hit. He’s also a smart player with good instincts so he should only get better. Considering the lack of impact depth at the position in the organization, he should eventually pair nicely with Ramos or eventually replace him.