You know the old baseball player adage, about 'controlling what I can control'? Well, sometimes that oft-used statement just sums up the situation.
For top Pirates prospect, 2013 1st round pick Austin Meadows, that's the only way to view the his future in the Pittsburgh Pirates outfield.
"I don't really pay attention to that," Meadows said Friday. "I just try to worry about today, about down here. That's for them to decide. That's in [the Pirates] hands."
In his first year in High-A Florida State League, Meadows development is important to the future of the Pirates. He still has timeKeeping that level-head can only help. He's jumped levels in 2014 and 2013, with the bulk of 2014 being played for West Virginia (Class-A, full-season).
High-A isn't quite Double-A, but there's still more polish, better instincts, and certainly more reps under their belts to help figure out the opponent. Pitchers secondary offerings are improved, and there's more velocity for a young hitter to face.
"It was definitely a challenge at first, it's a lot to get used to. Especially in the heat you really have to take care of yourself. And with the hamstring injury last year, I'm learning how to take care of myself off the field and on. I learned a lot last year," Meadows said.
The twenty-year-old has played a career high 92 games this season, .306/.363/.401 for the Bradenton Marauders. In his last ten games, he's struck out just five times. He's also making contact. He finished July with 42 hits and 14 RBI, after struggling in June.
He was given the opportunity to be at Major League camp this past Spring Training, and played in a handful of games. There too, Meadows wasn't allowing the spotlight to affect him.
"Most of the guys just had fun. It was like we were playing Little League. A lot more fans, a little more pressure, but it was a good time," he said.
The hamstring injury last year robbed him of playing time, but as the physical healing transpired, the deeper psychological aspect came along fine too, with his focus remaining strong.
"I had to stay confident in myself and confident in my ability. [Outfielder] Barrett Barnes was injured too, so it was good having him by my side."
As the season winds down, there's already an eye on the future.
"We work everyday to establish a routine. And we're working on having a plan for the off-season."
You can follow him on Twitter @Austin_Meadows.
GAME NOTES: Meadows hit a 2-run home run in Friday's game, with a patient, but smartly aggressive approach. He went after a pitch that was up in the zone, and carried it over the right field wall. He has a smooth swing, keeping his hands low. He appeared very comfortable at the plate, taking his time, not jumping on pitches he couldn't handle. His sharp defense was also on display.