Scouting Tyler Austin

2012 Draft: Duane Underwood
Robertson will need longer than 15 days on DL

Outfielder Tyler Austin came into the season as my 15th ranked prospect in the organization and he currently owns a .451 wOBA in 40 games with Low-A Charleston. He’s also tied for fifth in homers (13) in all of minor league baseball. Mike Newman of FanGraphs recently got a chance to see Austin in person and called it “the best offensive display of any player [I’ve] seen in person at the minor league level.”

The 20-year-old former 13th round pick is not without his warts, however. Austin’s power all-fields power and ability to murder fastballs is very real, but Newman notes there is some concern about his swing — which is the same no matter where the pitch is located (high, low, belt-high, etc.) — and his strikeout rate, which sits at 23.1%. That’s not outrageous, but a little higher than you’d like to see at this point of his career. Newman still heaps a ton of praise on Austin, calling him a future above average regular. Make sure you check it out, it’s a quality read.

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2012 Draft: Duane Underwood
Robertson will need longer than 15 days on DL
  • Robinson Tilapia

    Swinging the same at every pitch was pretty much my approach at both little league and video games. Let’s hope that part of his game improves. Sounds like a guy who could turn into something pretty special.

  • crawdaddie

    What are Mark Newman’s qualifications to properly evaluate any prospect?

    • Voice of Reason

      Do you mean to imply that no one who isn’t a scout employed by a professional baseball team can possibly know what they’re talking about?

      • Manny’s BanWagon

        Pretty much.

        If his scouting abilities were anything special, he’d be working for a major league team, not giving away free information to a bunch of sabermetric geeks.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          You know nothing about him and what he does or who he works for, so you mock him? The reason he doesn’t work for an MLB team is because he scouts and recruits for colleges. Writing about pro prospects is a hobby.

          • Manny’s BanWagon

            And if he were some savant scouting guru, he’d be working for Damon Oppenheimer or one of his peers probably making a lot more money. Even the best professional scouts can hardly project these player, even ones much further along than a player in low A ball so lets keep this guys opinion in perspective. He’s giving at best an educated guess based on stats and a couple of live games.

            • Ted Nelson

              Uhh… yeah, that’s what scouting is. I think it goes without saying that you keep it in perspective.

              I agree that pro scouts are generally more reliable than amateurs… but that doesn’t mean it’s 100% true. He could very well be working his way up to MLB, or be better than MLB guys and just not have gotten a chance.

              • Manny’s BanWagon

                Or he could be totally off base.

                Thanks for adding nothing to the conversation once again other than pointing out obvious hypothetical scenarios.

  • crawdaddie

    I meant Mike Newman.

  • Mr. Pink

    The is very exciting. It’s nice to know that the farm isn’t totally dead after the loss of Montero. Williams, Austin, Sanchez, Gumbs, Campos, and Banuelos will make a nice addition to the Yankees in a couple of years.

  • CS Yankee

    I read the article this AM and in general like Newman’s work.

    I don’t get what he states about the swing though, always been taught (& have taught) that you have the same approach (speed, top half of the ball, etc) and the only thing is the timing…hips still fire first, stay back on the off speed, let the outside go to the backpocket, etc. Certainly don’t want a loop in the swing or dropping the back shoulder (ala Teix 2010).

    Is he talking about dropping the bat head for hooks and splits?

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    So Austin’s comparison is a 34 year old outfielder with a total of 8.9 bWAR of which 60% came in 1 fluke career year. Talk about getting a glass of cold water thrown in your face.

    • Ted Nelson

      Did you read the article at all? He doesn’t say Ludwick is his best comparable… he says Ludwick is the best example of a similar type of player taking a while to settle in in MLB. He then says “This isn’t to say Austin will take the same path, but Ludwick’s career triple slash line of .259/.331/.453 is similar to what a contact projected recently.” (Ludwick’s career arc has been quite extreme… bounced around, 4 solid seasons in prime, bouncing around again at replacement level…) That’s been worth a .338 wOBA, and Ludwick doesn’t steal bases at all… a skill Austin might keep showing. Not Austin’s season, but a career .338 wOBA hitter would be a good outcome.

      • Ted Nelson

        *ceiling, not season

  • DM

    I don’t like that “one plane” swing stuff. That will be exploited more and more as he rises. Russell Martin has that same issue at the big league level. I didn’t see enough of him to understand how he maintained a high BA with the Dodgers early on — but with the Yankees he seems to have one narrow slot for hitting. Stay away from that and you beat every time.