Columbia County natives James Shanks and Tydus Meadows are still trying to make it into the Major League, and both are working their way up in the Kansas City Royal organization.
Despite consistent success, including all-star appearances in each of the past three minor league seasons, Meadows hasn't moved through the ranks as quickly as he would have liked.
The 6-3, 220 pound outfielder who starred at Evans High School and Vanderbilt University, is off to a so-so start this season. Through 12 games with the Royals High A affiliate in Wilmington, N.C., Meadows is hitting only .216, but he leads the Blue Rocks with two home runs, and is second with six RBI.
Wilmington is among the best teams in the Carolina League, and currently stands with an 8-4 record.
Kansas City picked up Meadows from the Chicago Cubs in December's Rule 5 draft. Last year in 67 games with the Cubs' Double-A team, he hit .269 with 10 homers and 29 RBI.
The fact that Meadows isn't playing in Double- or Triple-A ball now is baffling.
Shanks is one notch below Meadows. The 6-0, 180 pound outfielder is playing Single-A ball with Burlington in the Midwest League.
The former Greenbrier High School star, who hit three home runs in the deciding game of the Class AAA high school state playoffs in 1997, is one of the top young outfielders that Kansas City has in its stable.
Through 13 games with the Bees, Shanks was hitting .260, and led the team in at-bats (50), runs scored (10), hits (13) and stolen bases (6).
Shanks turns 23 later this year, so despite signing with the Royals out of high school, he is in the midst of a very important season.
Who knows? With some good play and a bit of good fortune, perhaps Shanks and Meadows will be roaming the Kansas City outfield together in the near future.
Listen to Ashley Brown on A.B.'s Sportsline weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m. on WGAC 1630 AM or WRDW 1480 AM.
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