The Next Big Thing?
I am a prospect humper... no other name to call me. I love and I embrace the moniker because I know that I am what I am. With that said, I was thinking of doing a series called "Meet A Prospect" and I could not think of anyone better to start off with then my personal man crush, Tyler Austin.
Tyler Austin is graded by scouts as a B-, which anyone with a High School diploma, a GED, or an equivalent diploma can tell you... that is pretty darn good. He is a 3B by trade but also can play 1B and would be a perfect DH type as well. He is now 20 years old but at 19 yrs old he had one of the more polished bats in all of the New York Penn League (NYPL), the same NYPL that Mason Williams tore up in Staten Island. This is probably an anomaly but he was 18 for 18 in base stealing opportunities last season as well.
Drafted in the 13th round of the 2010 draft he broke his wrist in his 2nd pro game and missed basically the entire season. In his first season in extended spring training, the Gulf Coast League (GCL), and the NYPL in Staten Island Austin had a triple slash of .354/ .418/ .579 in 47 combined games including 26 extra base hits.
At 6'2" and 200 pounds his frame is athletic and speedy for a guy his size. He has shown that he can spray the ball to all fields although he needs to develop more power. He has nothing left to prove at the "lower" levels of the minor league systems and looks to bring his tools with him to Low A Charleston starting in 2011. The biggest concern with Austin is going to be what position will he play. The scouts are wondering whether he can be adequate enough to stay at the 3B position, although his lack of power thus far scares most away from having him be a 1B. Well that and his K/BB ratio is not something you go home crying to your mom about either with a nearly 2/1 ratio IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.
Keith Law, insider required or I would link, even placed him on his "sleeper" prospects for the 2012 season saying “Third baseman Tyler Austin has turned himself into a pretty good defender over there, defying earlier predictions he’d have to move to first,” said KLaw of his sleeper pick for the Yankees. “[He] has a whole-field approach to hitting with pull power right now, and runs well for his size with a perfect stolen-base record in the pros.”