Staff Photo: John Bohn . Austin Meadows is the Daily Post's baseball player of the year. Meadows is a Grayson High School graduate and has been drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball.
It took a little while to finalize, but the way was finally cleared Friday for the beginning of Austin Meadows' professional baseball career.
The recent Grayson grad and 2013 Daily Post Player of the Year signed his initial pro contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates just over three weeks after the club selected him with the No. 9 overall pick in this year's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Meadows will receive a signing bonus right at MLB's suggested slot value of $3,029,600.
"The market was tough this year, from what I heard," Meadows said when reached just hours after signing his contract Friday afternoon in Pittsburgh. "So, it was a good deal."
With the business side of the deal done, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound outfielder is now eager to turn his attention back to baseball.
"It's good to get it all confirmed and to be able to just go out and play," Meadows said. "I know it's going to take some time before I actually play, but it's exciting to be able to play in live games again. I've been missing that."
Exactly when Meadows will take the field for the Pirates' affiliate in the Gulf Coast rookie league is still unknown, but he will report to that club in Bradenton, Fla., on Sunday.
In the meantime, Meadows, who hit .535 with four home runs, 28 RBIs, 29 runs scored, 14 doubles, 17 stolen bases and a 1.586 OPS in helping the Rams to a berth in the Class AAAAAA state playoffs this spring, spent Friday meeting with Pittsburgh team officials, as well as Pirates manager Clint Hurdle and a few current players.
"I got to talk to (centefielder Andrew) McCutchen, Clint Hurdle and (infielder Clint) Barmes," Meadows said. "It was good to get some advice from them (on getting started)."