Astros Minor League Review: Brandon Meredith, LF, Lexington Legends

A look at the improvement Astros prospect Brandon Meredith made from last year to his year and where he fits in the Astros farm system.

Brandon Meredith is a right-handed left fielder who was drafted out of San Diego State Universtiy in the sixth round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros. He did enough in his 144 plate appearances, after being drafted, for us to rank him 24th in our 2011 prospect rankings. This year he's improved his numbers, but with the talent infusion is it enough to keep him in our top 30 rankings?

Let's find out.

Offensive Ability

In 2011 at Tri-City Meredith posted a .244/.371/.395 line in 144 plate appearances. He hit one homerun, four triples, seven doubles and collected 29 hits overall. He walked 19 times, while striking out 29 times. The .244 batting average is nothing to write home about, but the 13.2% walk rate is and that showed in his .368 wOBA. Not great for a defensively limited prospect, but a decent start that comes with a small sample size caveat.

This year as the Lexington Legends left fielder he posted a .278/.377/.506 line in 370 plate appearances. He got a late start on the season due to some health issues, which explains the low plate appearance total. The biggest improvement he made was in his power, which is the main reason he was drafted by the Astros. In 2012 he hit 15 homeruns, four triples, 19 doubles and collected 88 hits overall. Both his walk rate and strikeout rate dropped a bit, but his walk rate is still above average and the improvement in power makes up for the 3% increase in his strikeout rate. A .401 wOBA for any player in the minors is nothing to sneeze at.

The other interesting noteworthy statistic is his stole bases. He's not going to be a prominent base stealer, however, his 12 stolen bases and three caught stealings provide an interesting scenario in which he can be a positive factor on the base paths. It's not a sure thing that he'll steal bases, but he could be a plus runner in the sense that he doesn't make mistakes on the base paths. It's something to keep an eye on him going forward.

Defensively Ability

I only saw Meredith for one series this year when the team traveled to Greenville and I was sitting on the hill right next to left field so I didn't actually get to see how he was defensively left field, but as I recall what I did see didn't look terrible. By the numbers, Meredith only made one error and collected two assists in 78 chances. It's left field and all scouting reports indicate that's likely were he's going to stay so I wouldn't expect anything outstanding from him in the field.

Conclusion

Brandon Meredith likely lands in Lancaster next year, where we won't really be able to get much of a gauge on his offensive potential due to the Lancaster effect. Still it'll be vital for him to post good numbers, so as not to get lost in all the new talent brought into the system.

I don't think he'll make our top 30 prospect rankings this year, his defense limits him to left field or first base and through no fault of his own there's been a big infusion of talent into the system that likely means he gets lost in the shuffle. Still he's a nice prospect to keep an eye on and may be another one of those sneaky good Ed Wade picks.

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