With five of Pittsburgh’s top 20 prospects on his roster, West Virginia manager Michael Ryan will have his hands full this season, but in a good way. No. 4 prospect Austin Meadows will be featured in center field, but the ninth overall pick in the 2013 Draft won’t join the Power for a few weeks due to a hamstring injury. Meadows ended last season on a tear, hitting .529/.636/.882 for Jamestown in five New York-Penn League games.
Along with Meadows, catcher Reese McGuire (PIT No. 7), starting pitcher Cody Dickson (PIT No. 20), shortstop JaCoby Jones (PIT No. 18) and converted third baseman Wyatt Mathisen (PIT No. 15) will don the black and yellow. Ryan’s main focus with the young prospects is to help them handle the inevitable rough patches that come in a full season.
“For many of these guys, this will be the first time that they’re going to struggle at times throughout the season, and you just try to help them through those times and make them become better for it,” Ryan said.
The manager hopes to help Dickson develop his off-speed pitches and locate his fastball better, all while keeping his innings down. Ryan said he will help McGuire prepare for hitting matchups and develop relationships with the pitchers, but the catcher will call his own games. To make room for McGuire and to add versatility, Mathisen will move from behind the plate to the hot corner. Ryan said the 20-year-old’s strong arm and excitement about his new position have helped the transition immensely.
“We are a very good team on paper, but I’ve seen tons of teams who have been good on paper but not come out too much,” Ryan said. “It depends on how well these guys get