James Meeker (2018-21) Headed to The Show!

Friday, June 7, 2024
By Kyle Dawson
James Meeker (2018-21) Headed to The Show!

WASHINGTON, Pa. (June 7) – Former Wild Thing and Pittsburgh native right hander James Meeker has earned the call to the big leagues. Meeker, a North Allegheny High School product and Wild Thing from 2018-21 when his contract was purchased by the Brewers organization, becomes the fifth former Wild Thing to make a big-league roster, joining pitchers Tom Cochran, Vidal Nuño, Chris Smith and Zac Grotz in the illustrious category.

James Meeker had his contract selected today by the Milwaukee Brewers and LHP Aaron Ashby was optioned to Nashville.

Meeker has been called up to the majors by the Milwaukee Brewers after he’s enjoyed significant success in affiliated ball since the Brewers purchased his contract from the Wild Things August 14, 2021. This year, he appeared in four games and tossed 6.1 scoreless frames with 10 strikeouts and a save in Double-A Biloxi before he was promoted to Triple-A Nashville. With the Sounds, Meeker has posted a 3.48 ERA in 14 games. He owns a Triple-A save and a win in 20.2 innings of work. He’s allowed 15 hits and fanned 20.

The right hander split time in 2023 between Biloxi (34 games) and Nashville (two games) and logged a total of 93 innings, a career high that season. In that work he was 8-4 with a 3.39 ERA with 81 strikeouts to just 15 walks in 36 games, eight of which were starts. In 2022, Meeker split time with High-A Wisconsin and Biloxi, working 64.1 innings with 57 strikeouts and 17 walks issued to go along with a 2.38 ERA in 44 appearances (two starts). After being picked up into the Brewers’ system in 2021, Meeker appeared in 12 games and allowed just four runs (one earned) in 18 innings with Carolina (A).

Meeker’s standout season was 2021 with the Wild Things. He pitched 31.2 innings across 30 games that year before his contract was purchased in August. In that work, Meeker didn’t allow a single run, gave up 17 hits, walked 10 and whiffed 43. That, coupled with 2.1 innings to end the 2019 scoreless, allowed Meeker to leave Washington with a franchise-record 34-inning scoreless streak.

James was a highly-successful player at North Allegheny High School, where he became the first freshman pitcher to pitch in a varsity game in program history, threw the school’s first perfect game as a senior and helped the team to a WPIAL baseball title in the same season. He played at Akron with former Wild Things Dom Iero and Josh Lapiana, Trinity High School product Joey Havrilak and former Pirates pitcher now Yankee JT Brubaker before the school folded the program. James transferred to Delaware, where he finished his collegiate career with three seasons there. He was 4-2 as a senior with a 3.23 ERA in 26 games.

He then made his way to Washington and was signed by the club out of a mid-season tryout held at the stadium. He appeared in 19 regular-season games in 2018 as the team made its way to the Frontier League Championship Series and a division championship. In 2018, Meeker posted a 3.94 ERA in 19 games across 29.2 innings. The next season, Meeker pitched in 40 games, and, in 54 innings, punched out 57 and posted a 3.17 ERA.

“It has been quite the journey for Meeker and we are so pleased the day has come where his number has been called,” said president and general manager Tony Buccilli. “The development he put his body and arm through over the years was quite remarkable and he honestly out-worked many players to earn this opportunity. The Wild Things’ ownership, front office, coaching staff and all of his teammates are extremely excited to celebrate this achievement with the Meeker family.”

The entire Washington Wild Things’ family would like to congratulate James on this huge milestone in his career. Meeker and the Brewers are in Detroit at the Tigers this weekend.