Towards the end of Spring Training in 2022, with hopes of contending in the AL Central, the Detroit Tigers made a huge splash by trading for outfielder Austin Meadows. Detroit was able to fill a need at the corner outfield position with the late move. In exchange for Meadows, the Tigers sent young 3rd baseman Issac Paredes to the Rays. The trade didn’t work in the Tigers’ favor last season, with Paredes having a career year for the Rays and Meadows having issues with vertigo, both his Achilles, and mental health struggles. He said that those issues are behind him and that he’s looking forward to the start of this season. Hopefully, for the Tigers in 2023, Meadows can stay healthy. On Saturday, in the first game of Spring Training vs. Philadelphia, Austin Meadows and his younger brother Parker Meadows played together as teammates for the first time. Austin Meadows went 0-2, but his younger brother Parker Meadows made headlines with his performance… he went 1-2 and smashed a fastball to right field on the first pitch he saw in his first at-bat.
Parker has emerged as one of the more exciting prospects in the Tigers farm system. Obviously, we want to see Parker in Detroit playing with his brother Austin as soon as possible… but when will that be?
When will Parker Meadows debut with Detroit?
The Tigers selected Parker Meadows in the 2nd round in June of 2018. Meanwhile, his older brother Austin was playing in his rookie season at the Major league level. Austin debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates but was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays midway through his rookie season. The following year in 2019, Austin Meadows was an All-Star and hit 33 Home Runs. Detroit hoped that Parker would develop into the same player as his older brother. Unfortunately, Parker hadn’t made much progress in development until the 2022 season. Meadows is entering his 5th season in the Tigers organization. If he’s able to get better in spring training and throughout the season consistently, I’m confident that we’ll see the 23-year-old make his MLB debut this season. The odds are stacked against him for making the opening roster with his brother for multiple reasons. The biggest is the fact that he hasn’t played past the Double-A level. Another reason is the competition at outfield is stacked. Riley Greene and Austin Meadows jobs are safe and secured. The Tigers also have Akil Baddoo, Kerry Carpenter, Matt Vierling, and Nick Maton. Justyn-Henry Malloy will likely compete to play at either 3rd base or in the outfield later on after some work in the minors. I see Parker Meadows starting the year in Triple-A, and hopefully, he will make an impression. After spending five years in the minors, it’s time for Meadows to get to experience the big leagues. I think he could be ready to go after a couple of months with the Mud Hens.
Takeaways from Tigers’ 4-2 win vs. Philadelphia on Saturday
We talked about Parker Meadows Home Run earlier, but another Tigers prospect who went yard in the Spring opener vs. Philly was Andre Lipcius. We may see the 24-year-old make a case to be on the opening-day roster, potentially starting at 3rd base. Lipcius spent most of last season playing for the Erie SeaWolves, the Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. He was promoted to Triple-A for 46 games last season, where he played pretty well. With the Mud Hens in 2022, Lipcius batted .302 with 3 Home Runs, 17 extra-base hits, 24 RBIs, OBP of .388, SLG% of .453, and an OPS of .841. Lipcius drew 25 walks while in Toledo last season as well. It’s not crazy to think that with a great spring training, he could make the opening-day roster.
Garret Hill started on the mound for Detroit. He pitched two innings, struck out one, walked one, allowed just one hit, and didn’t give up a run.
Angel De Jesus was the closer for the ninth inning of Saturday’s game. He went 1-2-3 to get Detroit the win. De Jesus has appeared in eight games in his MLB career. He has an 0-0 record, 2.13 ERA, seven K’s, and a WHIP of 1.03 in 12.2 innings pitched. With Detroit having a few key departures in the pen this off-season, De Jesus may make the opening-day roster.
Akil Baddoo had a double today. Detroit hopes he can find the same magic he had in his rookie season. Baddoo is still very young at just 24 years old and has a lot of developing left to do. If he reaches his full potential, that would be huge for the Tigers moving forward.
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