Meadows, Newman highlight Pirates' invites

Right-handers Eppler and Santana, outfielder Barnes will also report

Austin Meadows slashed .266/.333/.536 across two levels in the Pirates system in 2016. (Ken Inness/

By Chris Tripodi / | January 9, 2017 4:30 PM

Austin Meadows made his Double-A debut in 2015, the same year Pittsburgh drafted shortstop Kevin Newman 19th overall out of Arizona. Two years later, the duo will get its first taste of the big leagues.

Meadows and Newman are among 19 non-roster players who were invited to Spring Training by the Pirates on Monday. Meadows, who was drafted ninth overall in 2013, is Pittsburgh's No. 2 prospect and is ranked No. 9 overall by, and Newman checks in as the Pirates' No. 4 farmhand and No. 42 overall. They will be joined by right-handers Tyler Eppler and Edgar Santana and outfielder Barrett Barnes.

Meadows, who had a 26-game hitting streak snapped in his third game for Triple-A Indianapolis, batted .266/.333/.536 for the Indians and Double-A Altoona, hitting 12 home runs and stealing 17 bases in 87 games. His numbers fell off with Indianapolis -- .214/.297/.460 in 37 games -- but he still blasted six home runs, stole eight bases and drove in 24. Of his 27 hits, 16 went for extra bases, including three triples.

Newman has hit at every stop after his 23-game debut with Class A Short Season West Virginia, posting a .320/.389/.426 line with Class A Advanced Bradenton and Double-A Altoona in 2016. He wasn't as good after the jump to Double-A but held his own, batting .288/.361/.378 with 41 runs scored in 61 games while playing solid defense. He committed just two errors with the Curve.

Eppler, Pittsburgh's No. 20 prospect, was 9-10 with a 3.99 ERA in 27 starts for Altoona in 2016. Barnes, ranked 25th in the organization, hit .306/.377/.477 with nine homers for the Curve, and Santana, the team's 28th-ranked prospect, posted a 2.71 ERA and 71-to-19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 79 2/3 innings for Bradenton, Altoona and Indianapolis.

Others invited to big league camp include right-handers Brandon Cumpton, Casey Sadler, Angel Sanchez and Frank Duncan, left-handers Cody Dickson and Jared Lakind, catcher Jin-De Jhang, Jacob Stallings, Christian Kelley and Jackson Williams, infielders Jason Rogers, Erich Weiss, Eric Wood and outfielder Danny Ortiz.

Chris Tripodi is an editor for Follow him on Twitter @christripodi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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