The Astros are caught in a pickle with this pick. Do they believe Meredith's numbers from 2010, when he just mashed the ball all over the field? Or do they believe the numbers from this spring, with the new BBCOR bats which severely limit power and do a bad job of imitating wood?
Well, they obviously chose the former route, picking a guy they listed as a left fielder in the sixth round. The only way you pick this guy this early is if you're sold on his power potential long-term. Meredith has certainly got the college stats to back up that assertion, but I wonder if it'll translate to the big leagues.
Moreover, this is a risky pick, since he doesn't have the defensive tools to play at other positions. In that, Meredith reminds me of college Telvin Nash, good power with no real position. If he hits, he's going to move quickly. If he doesn't...
The floor here is also pretty low. Think of another college bat Houston has taken in the past few years with good power but concerns over defensive positioning. I'm not referring to T.J. Steele, sadly, but Collin DeLome, the outfielder out of Lamar. DeLome shows there is a floor and a ceiling for these types of players, and if Meredith cannot adjust to hitting with wood or strikes out a ton, he's ticketed for a Triple-A career and few, if any, major league at-bats.
On the other hand, Meredith could turn into a higher regarded J.D. Martinez, who doesn't make you wince when he runs the bases. Meredith is limited defensively, which also limits his ceiling, but his bat will keep that ceiling pretty high. Are we looking at a guy like Luis Gonzalez? Or Cliff Floyd? Or even Preston Wilson?
Will thesign him?
He's a junior, so there is a chance he could go back to school. If it's the bats that are limiting his stock, though, it makes more sense for him to sign and start proving that last season was a fluke. Two bad season in a row will send his stock plummeting much worse than this.
Bibliography (Scouting Reports and video)
Below the jump
A physical specimen at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, Meredith looked like a potential high-round pick after hitting .383/.484/.542 with seven homers and 54 RBIs as a sophomore in 2010, but a blister problem and a lack of lineup protection helped cause him to slump to .272/.418/.471 with five homers and 38 RBIs in an uneven junior year. Scouts who like him say he's a quality athlete with above-average speed and above-average raw power, while others peg him as just a decent athlete with average speed and average raw power.
Brandon Meredith (6) might be a buy-low guy after a down spring with the new bats.