What to Expect from Tigers Outfielder Parker Meadows

The Detroit Tigers outfielder includes four players that are age 26 or younger. Now, Detroit will add another youngster to its outfield group in former second-round pick Parker Meadows. Meadows has been summoned from the Minors, and here’s a look at what he was up to prior to his call up.

Related: What to Expect from Giants Left-Hander Kyle Harrison

A Look at Meadows

The 2018 MLB Draft yielded mixed results for the Tigers, a team that went into the event with the first overall pick. Detroit selected right-hander and former Auburn standout Casey Mize with the top pick that year. Mize had a solid rookie season in Detroit in 2021, but has yet to throw a pitch since May 12, 2022 with Toledo (AAA) after he underwent Tommy John surgery.

In the second round of that draft, the Tigers took Georgia high school outfielder Parker Meadows, the younger brother of Austin Meadows.

Parker struggled in his first two full pro seasons in 2019 & 2021, but turned a corner last season between West Michigan (A+) and Erie (AA). Meadows hit .270/.346/.473 with 20 home runs, 52 extra base hits, and 58 RBI across 127 games.

This season with Toledo, Meadows hit .256/.337/.474 with 19 home runs and 53 extra base hits over 113 games, numbers that highlight his keen ability to elevate the ball. Those numbers came after a strong run in the Grapefruit League, in which he hit .317 with five home runs over 21 games.

Reports indicate that Meadows fine-tuned his swing last year to become shorter the ball (h/t MLB.com). Between that and a increased in the amount of pitches he’s taken per plate appearance, he’s seen his BB% rate rise from 8.8% in 2021 to 11.0% in 2023 and his OPS rise.

Meadows has also been a threat on the basepaths. The 23-year-old stole 19 bases with the Mud Hens in 2023, and quite possibly could have recorded a 20-20 campaign in Toledo had he stayed in AAA.

Defensively, Meadows has seen most of his time in center and may supplant Riley Greene at the position. Tigers management did suggest after the promotion that Meadows could be the regular center fielder moving forward.

What it Means for the Tigers and Fantasy Outlook

It took a bit for Meadows to develop, but the 23-year-old will now join the Tigers five years after his selection in the 2018 MLB Draft.

Meadows joins a talented, yet underrated Tigers outfield that includes at this moment Akil Baddoo, Matt Vierling, Kerry Carpenter, and Riley Greene. Both Carpenter and Greene have had great seasons, while Vierling’s been productive as well. Detroit’s a young team, but there’s talent abound.

As far as Meadows’ fantasy value is concerned, he’s got some potential value in AL-only formats and less in mixed, 12-team leagues. But with plenty of pop and speed in his arsenal, Meadows is a name to watch.