Detroit Tigers outfielder looking to step up to the plate and shine in 2024

Parker Meadows had a good start late last season and has continued that success in Spring Training. In 2024, it is time for Parker to take his game to the next level and become a household name in the Motor City.

Detroit Tigers center fielder Parker Meadows attempts a diving play in a game against the Oakland Athletics.
Detroit Tigers center fielder Parker Meadows attempts a diving play in a game against the Oakland Athletics. / Brandon Vallance/GettyImages

There was a strange feeling in the air when the Detroit Tigers acquired Tampa Bay Rays slugger Austin Meadows before the 2022 season for Isaac Paredes. Paredes had not panned out yet in Detroit, and Meadows was an All-Star level player for Tampa. There was cautious optimism in the air. Fans saw a perfect opportunity for the Meadows brothers to play together in Detroit once Austin's younger brother Parker, a top prospect then, made it to the league. Then Meadows had both physical and mental health struggles. Leaving only one Meadows brother to shine in Detroit. And boy, did Parker do that.

Parker Meadows has been talked about in the Tigers organization for years. It feels like he should be about 26 years old from how long he has been around. The fact is that Parker is only 24. Parker has had a slow but steady climb throughout his career, but last year, after an injury to Riley Greene, Meadows finally got the call and made his MLB debut.

In 2023, Meadows hit .232 while showing patience at the plate, having a .331 OBP. He started out red hot, but the league adapted, and he sputtered. At the very end of the season, Meadows picked it back up again and ended with decent numbers. His defense also excelled as he was flying around the vast center field at Comerica Park. The fans were happy. They felt as though they might have something. Now, it is time for him to prove it.

Parker Meadows will take his game to the next level for the Detroit Tigers in 2024.

The Detroit Tigers have bought into Parker Meadows. Like I said earlier, he made his MLB debut because of an injury to Riley Greene. Once Greene returned, Meadows stayed in center field, forcing Greene into right field. Truthfully, this is a better setup for the Tigers. Greene tends to be overly reckless in center, and right field allows him to have less ground to cover. Greene has been marketed as one of the faces of the franchise, and for Meadows to take his position in center field and still hit at the top of the lineup shows a huge vote of confidence for the Tigers' youngster.

So far in Spring Training, Meadows is hitting .279 with two home runs, so the success is appearing to continue. Seeing the ability to take a walk and continuing to get on base at a good clip would be wonderful from the young outfielder. If he could get the average up to about the .280 mark and keep using his speed to contribute some stolen bases, there is no question he would turn into one of the Tigers' best players.

With Colt Keith most likely debuting this year, Meadows has become an under-the-radar candidate for a breakout season, and it should not be out of the question for him to be named Tiger of the Year at season-end as long as he can continue to adjust.