Pirates

Below Deck: ‘Outside pressures’ affecting Meadows at plate

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Austin Meadows is batting .146 in Indianapolis. - Adam Pintar / Indianapolis Indians

COLUMBUS, Ohio  — In the moments sitting in the clubhouse or during the long bus rides back to Indianapolis, Austin Meadows has made a habit of checking the score of the Pirates' game.

Many of his former teammates are now in the major leagues after receiving that long-awaited phone call that Meadows has dreamed of since he was 4 years old. The outfielder enjoys keeping tabs on their progress, and the progress of the Pirates, but he said he isn't getting ahead of himself while playing for Triple-A Indianapolis.

"I don't get into it," Meadows told DKPittsburghSports.com last Friday after the Indians' game against the Columbus Clippers at Huntington Park was postponed. "I really support those guys. They're all great. But I focus on what I can control."

He brushes off questions about the hype that comes with being the No. 6 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America and what role the Pirates' outfield situation — particularly Starling Marté's 80-game suspension — had in the slow start to his fifth professional season. But his manager, and one of the Pirates' top executives, said that is precisely why Meadows is struggling at the plate.

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