BRADENTON, Fla. - Since the very beginning of spring training, 2016-17 Tribe outfielder Austin Meadows has shown flashes of his unlimited potential. Despite playing in only half of Pittsburgh's four spring games, the 22-year-old leads the club in hits (4), doubles (2), triples (1), RBI (5), batting average (.800) and on-base percentage (.833).
While those numbers will inevitably come back to Earth as spring wears on, Meadows, like previous years, has one focus - stay on the field. He has been limited by injuries in all but two of his five professional seasons thus far.
Here is what Pittsburgh's No. 2 prospect had to say about his health, his mindset entering camp and two major decisions he made this offseason.
On his positive start to spring training and the desire to stay healthy:
"That [my health] is the biggest goal. I took it into account this offseason, worked hard and was being strict on myself with my diet or anything like that. I'm looking forward to a fresh new start.
On changing trainers this offseason:
"The past six years, I've had a great trainer but dealing with the injury bug and having to deal with that kind of stuff, I figured I'd take it into my own hands and get a new trainer. Whether that was the reason or not, just to kind of freshen things up. We went through some stuff the past four months that was great; I want to keep that [the workouts] going on in season.
On his hamstring history and change in workouts with his new trainer:
"You really can't put into account what happened with the hamstring and what it was from. For me, it was more of just functional movements and total body lifts. I was paying more attention to my lifts, to my body, to the form and technique of those lifts.
On his focus in spring training:
"The main goal is to stay healthy, feeling good; my body is the priority right now. I think for me, it's going out there and having fun, staying on the field and putting together good at-bats, whether it's driving in runs or scoring runs. I want to go out there and show 'em the Austin Meadows that I am.
On getting engaged this offseason to his high school sweetheart:
"We've been dating six years, so I figured it was about time. Everybody kept telling me 'It's about time, it's about time.' I took it into my own hands, had about a week to prepare. I bought the ring the day before I asked her and everything worked out perfectly. I did it up in Nashville, N.C., at the Biltmore House [Estate] and asked her to marry me there. I'm looking forward to our future together, it's pretty cool."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.