Is Austin Meadows a Good Defender?

Frank Jones

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Is Austin Meadows a Good Defender

In baseball, defense plays a crucial role in winning games. Good defenders not only make routine plays but also save runs by making exceptional plays in the field.

Austin Meadows is a talented outfielder who has shown potential to be a good defender, but the question remains – is Austin Meadows a good defender? To answer this question, we need to examine Meadows’ defensive abilities and analyze his statistics.

In this blog, we will evaluate Austin Meadows’ performance as a defender by examining his physical attributes, defensive statistics, and other factors that may impact his defensive abilities. We will also discuss the importance of defense in baseball and how it affects a player’s overall value.

The Importance of Defense in Baseball

Impact of Good Defense on Winning Games

Good defense can often be the difference between winning and losing in baseball. Strong defensive players prevent runs, take away hits, and frustrate opposing teams by making exceptional plays.

When a team has a strong defense, it not only keeps the game close but also provides momentum to the team by making big plays. Good defenders also give confidence to their pitchers, who can throw with more freedom knowing that their defense will support them.

Defensive Statistics Used to Evaluate Players

There are several statistics used to evaluate a player’s defensive abilities. One such metric is the fielding percentage, which is calculated by dividing the number of plays made without error by the total number of plays made.

Another important metric is defensive runs saved (DRS), which measures the number of runs a player saves or costs his team based on his ability to make plays in the field.

DRS is considered one of the most comprehensive measures of defensive performance, as it takes into account the player’s range, arm, and ability to turn double plays.

Other advanced defensive metrics include ultimate zone rating (UZR), range factor (RF), and zone rating (ZR), which all provide a more nuanced view of a player’s defensive abilities.

Austin Meadows’ Defensive Abilities

Physical Attributes and Tools for Playing Defense

Austin Meadows has the physical attributes to be a good defender. He has good speed and athleticism, which allows him to cover ground in the outfield. He also has a strong arm, which is necessary for making throws to home plate or other bases.

Meadows’ Fielding Percentage

In terms of fielding percentage, Austin Meadows has a career average of .983, which is slightly above the league average for outfielders. While fielding percentage is an important metric, it doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story about a player’s defensive abilities.

Comparison With League Average Fielding Percentage

Compared to other outfielders in the league, Austin Meadows’ fielding percentage is slightly above average. However, fielding percentage doesn’t account for a player’s range, which is an important aspect of playing defense in the outfield.

Meadows’ Ability to Make Plays and Cover Ground in the Outfield

Austin Meadows has shown the ability to make difficult plays in the outfield, with several highlight-reel catches throughout his career. He has also shown good instincts and route running in the outfield, which allows him to get to balls that other outfielders may not.

Comparison With League Average Defensive Metrics

When comparing Austin Meadows’ defensive metrics to league average, he ranks above average in some categories, such as outfield arm runs (OAA) and out-of-zone plays made (OOZ).

However, he ranks below average in other categories, such as DRS and UZR. Overall, his defensive metrics suggest that he is an average defender in the outfield.

Defensive Statistics for the Rays Outfield

Defensive Runs Saved (Drs) Metric

Defensive runs saved (DRS) is a metric that evaluates a player’s ability to save runs through defensive plays. It takes into account a player’s range, arm, and ability to turn double plays. A player with a high DRS is considered to be an exceptional defender.

Comparison of Rays Outfield With Other Teams in Terms of Drs

Over the past two years, the Rays have had the best defensive outfield in terms of DRS, according to FanGraphs. Kevin Kiermaier, the Rays’ center fielder, has been a major contributor to this success, with a DRS of 39 over the past two seasons.

Right fielder Manuel Margot also has a high DRS of 12 over the same period. Left fielder Austin Meadows has a DRS of -4 over the past two years, which is below average.

Meadows’ Contribution to the Rays’ Strong Outfield Defense

While Austin Meadows’ DRS is below average, he still contributes to the Rays’ strong outfield defense. He has good range and the ability to make difficult plays in the outfield, which adds value to the team’s defense.

Additionally, his arm strength allows him to make accurate throws to bases and prevent runners from advancing. While his defensive metrics may not be exceptional, he is still a valuable player in the outfield for the Rays.

Other Factors Affecting Meadows’ Defensive Abilities

Injury History and Impact on Mobility and Range

Injuries can have a significant impact on a player’s defensive abilities, especially in terms of mobility and range. Austin Meadows has had a few injury concerns throughout his career, including a strained oblique and a sprained thumb.

These injuries may have affected his ability to cover ground in the outfield and make difficult plays. However, he has also shown the ability to bounce back from injuries and play at a high level.

Meadows’ Offensive Performance and Impact on Defensive Metrics

A player’s offensive performance can also have an impact on his defensive metrics. When a player is struggling at the plate, it can affect his confidence and focus on defense.

Conversely, when a player is performing well offensively, it can give him a boost of confidence and translate into better defensive play. Austin Meadows has had a solid offensive performance throughout his career, which may have had a positive impact on his defensive abilities.

Defensive Versatility and Ability to Play Multiple Positions

Versatility is becoming increasingly important in baseball, and players who can play multiple positions are highly valued. While Austin Meadows primarily plays left field, he has also played center field and right field.

His ability to play multiple positions gives the Rays flexibility in their defensive alignments and allows them to rest other outfielders when needed.

Additionally, playing multiple positions requires a certain level of defensive skill and adaptability, which can enhance a player’s overall defensive abilities.

Austin Meadows’ Defensive Statistics (2017-2022)

SeasonGames PlayedInnings PlayedFielding PercentageDefensive Runs Saved (DRS)Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR)

Note: Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) is a metric that measures a player’s ability to save runs through defensive plays.

Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) is another advanced defensive metric that measures a player’s ability to get to balls hit in his vicinity. Negative DRS and UZR values indicate below-average performance, while positive values indicate above-average performance.


Has Austin Meadows won any awards for his defense?

No, Austin Meadows has not won any awards specifically for his defense. However, he was a Gold Glove finalist in 2020.

What are some of the difficult plays that Austin Meadows has made in the outfield?

Austin Meadows has made several highlight-reel plays in the outfield, including diving catches, leaping catches at the wall, and throws to home plate to prevent runners from scoring.

How does Austin Meadows’ defensive abilities compare to other outfielders in the league?

Based on his defensive metrics, Austin Meadows ranks as an average defender in the outfield compared to other outfielders in the league.

Has Austin Meadows played any positions other than outfield?

Yes, Austin Meadows has played first base and designated hitter in addition to outfield during his career, although outfield is his primary position.

How do the Rays value defense as a team?

The Rays place a premium on defense and have been successful in building strong defensive teams in recent years. They prioritize players who can play multiple positions and have strong defensive metrics.


Evaluating Austin Meadows’ defensive abilities requires analyzing his physical attributes, defensive statistics, and other factors that may impact his performance.

While his fielding percentage is slightly above average, his defensive metrics suggest that he is an average defender in the outfield. However, his ability to make difficult plays, cover ground, and contribute to the Rays’ strong outfield defense should not be overlooked.

Other factors, such as injury history, offensive performance, and defensive versatility, can also affect his defensive abilities.

Overall, while he may not be an exceptional defender, Austin Meadows is a valuable player for the Rays, and his ability to play multiple positions and contribute both offensively and defensively make him a valuable asset to the team.

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