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Meachum gets to work at MLB combine


#29 Xavier Meachem - 2023 A&T Baseball vs Hofstra - Photo by: Kevin L. Dorsey
North Carolina A&T right-handed pitcher Xavier Meachem participated in the Major League Baseball Combine last week at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz. Meachem (5-foot-11, 200, JR, Winterville, N.C.) is among 343 major league hopefuls at the third annual event, June 20-25.

Players can meet with general managers, scouting directors and other team executives at the Combine. The MLB Draft is scheduled for July 9-11 in Seattle.

Meachem's appearance at the Combine and his potential to be drafted by an MLB team in July are not the only exciting things happening in the 20-year-olds life this summer. In addition, Meachem has been selected to pitch at the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Training Camp against Chinese Taipei International. The series will take place June 30-July 4 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. If Meachem has a good showing, he can represent his country further.

"When all of this started happening, I just thought back to my younger self," said Meachem, who has reached 97 mph on the radar gun during his career. "I never thought I would be in this position. I'm just really trying to enjoy the moment. It's a dream come true to play for USA Baseball. Putting on the colors and playing for your country is very exciting. I'm proud to be representing African American baseball players and HBCU players. It's an all-around great opportunity."

Soon after his appearance at the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Training Camp, Meachem will jet back to Seattle for Ken Griffey Jr.'s HBCU Swingman Classic All-Star Game on July 7. A&T teammate Camden Jackson (6-1, 180, JR, Greenville, N.C.) will join Meachem. The event will be a part of MLB All-Star Week in Seattle.

"I'm just blessed," said Meachem. "I can't thank God enough. I can't thank my coaches, teammates, parents, family and everybody who has helped me get to this point enough. I wouldn't be in this position without them."

Meachem is coming off a season where he made 16 appearances and seven starts. He had an arm injury coming into the season. Therefore, the coaching staff moved him to the bullpen. He excelled in the role, securing five saves in his first eight appearances. He also recorded 13 strikeouts in 10.2 innings of relief before making his first start of the season on April 1 at UNC Wilmington. He got the winning decision over one of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) powers by pitching 5.0 innings, striking out five and surrendering two runs in a 4-3 A&T win.

"I'm impressed with Xavier's growth from his freshman year," said A&T head coach Ben Hall. "He has put the work in and made an impressive jump over the last nine months. You could see his self-confidence go to another level this season. It really came from believing in his routine and getting out there proving to himself he could be an elite arm.

I'm excited for him to get these opportunities this summer. He is definitely opening some doors for more HBCU players to get considered for events like this. We are all excited to see what happens in July."

During the 2023 season, Meachem went 2-1 with five saves and a 5.59 ERA in 48.1 innings pitched. He ranked fourth in the conference in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (7.82) and seventh in saves. He finished the season with a career-high 47 strikeouts. Jackson primarily served as the Aggies designated hitter during the season. He batted .309 with three home runs, 22 RBI, five doubles, three triples and 11 extra-base hits. He also had a .443 slugging percentage and a .358 on-base percentage.