Frazier, Meadows share deep history
Indians, Pirates prospects grew up together in Georgia, now reunited in Fall League
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- From high school to the 2013 Draft and now the Arizona Fall League, Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier are constantly crossing paths, and their careers are forever intertwined.
"We grew up together at a young age, we played baseball together and we got to go through the process together of what it's like to experience something life-changing," Frazier said. "From there on, we've really seen each other grow as players and grow as human beings as well."
Both Frazier and Meadows were selected in the first round -- Frazier, fifth overall to the Indians and Meadows, ninth overall to the Pirates -- but that's not all that links the two.
The elite prospects are connected because of where they grew up. Frazier attended Loganville High School in Georgia. Just 4.6 miles away, Meadows was playing at Grayson High School.
"It was very, very neat to have them both so close together," said Jed Hixson, Meadows' coach at Grayson High School. "To think that they were both, at different points, touted as the best player in the nation. It's just crazy to think that they were a stone's throw from each other."
The athletes -- both the No. 2 prospect in their respective organizations -- have long stood out.
"He was somebody that stood out from anybody we had before," Hixson said of Meadows. "The thing that was impressive more than anything was the way the ball came off the bat, you'd just never seen anything like it. We'd take BP and the ball would go by the L-screen, with a different noise than you typically expect from a high school player."
Although Hixson didn't coach Frazier, he recognized his talent.
"Clint, he was a pure power hitter," Hixson said. "He hit the towering, mammoth home runs. He and Austin were different types of players. [Clint] was the Popeye forearm type deal, you always expected to see a big home run and unfortunately we gave up a few of those."
The two players also had some important similarities.
"We both play the game the right way, play the game hard," Meadows said. "He's got a great bat and a lot of speed. It's fun watching him compete. He's a great player."
After being drafted into different organizations, in different leagues, the duo could have easily lost touch after the draft. But that is not the case, as Meadows and Frazier stay in touch and work out together four days a week in Johns Creek, Ga. during the offseason.
And it's not just the players that are good friends. Their families are close as well.
"My dad and his dad were pretty good friends. They coached together in Little League, and our moms sat together in the stands," Frazier said. "Personally, I think the relationship really started to grow when we got into our senior year and saw what each other was going through doing all the travelling together, the summer ball, the Perfect Game All-American Game, Under Armour. Our parents were together through the whole thing."
Now reunited in the Arizona Fall League, but once again on different teams, Meadows and Frazier are using the opportunity to catch up.
The two don't talk much during the season, as they are both focused on their individual teams, but have run into each other a few times in the AFL and plan to go out to dinner together when Meadows' parents come to town for a visit.
"We grew up together basically," Meadows said. "Grew up playing against each other, our parents are good friends, we work out together in the offseason, so it's good to have him here [in the Arizona Fall League] as well."
Once again the two are linked, and hoping that soon they'll be playing against each other in the Major Leagues.