Tyler Austin: A scouting report and the future


(Kevin Pataky/

This has been a down year for the farm system for the most part, though the most notable exception is the emergence of Tyler Austin from interesting guy to high-end prospect. The Yankees signed the 20-year-old for $135k as their 13th round pick back in 2010, and he’s rewarded them by hitting .322/.404/.583 with 15 homers and 18 steals (in 20 tries) across two levels of Single-A this year. Both Baseball America and Keith Law recently ranked him as one of the 50 best prospects in the game.

The numbers certainly pass the sniff test and at 6-foot-2 and 200 lbs., Austin passes the eye test as well. ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, a former Yankees intern, scouted him during a recent High-A Tampa game and published the write-up yesterday. It’s an excellent and lengthy Insider-only read, so I can’t give away too much. Here are the most relevant points…

He’s a below-average runner with choppy steps and some thickness to a 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame. Austin’s arm is slightly above-average, so he can play right field, and he’s quick enough to stay there for now …  There is a risk for barring his lead arm and/or a loopy path in how he moves his hands, but Austin has good enough feel for his swing that this hasn’t been a problem in games I’ve seen … Austin’s strength, bat speed and hips combine to create above-average to plus raw power that is most natural to the opposite gap, an encouraging sign for power showing up in games and translating at higher levels … The separator for Austin is his advanced plan, feel and plate coverage that is fueled by his quick hands and allows him to tap into his raw power in games. Austin has a tough profile and little margin for error, but he’s got a good chance to reach his ceiling of .275-.280 average with 25 homers.

Mike Newman passed along a similar report when he caught Austin a few weeks ago, saying the stolen base totals — 36-for-38 in steal attempts for his career — are not indicative of his actual speed and athleticism, and that the swing can get a little flat. Both guys agree that the (hard to find) right-handed pop and opposite field stroke are for real though, ditto the advanced approach that allows Austin to wait for his pitch and take ball four (11.3% walk rate) if he doesn’t get anything to hit.

The long-term concern here is position. Austin was drafted as a catcher and moved to third base almost immediately. He shifted to right field this season in part due to a lack of hot corner quickness, but also because of the presence of Dante Bichette Jr., last year’s first rounder. McDaniel notes that Austin may have to move to first base long-term, though hopefully he can stave off that fate for a few years ago. Either way, Austin’s carrying tool is his bat and if ever reaches the big leagues, it’ll be because he hit his way there. Don’t count on defensive value.

Scouting director Damon Oppenheimer has a bit of a spotty track record when it comes to first round/top picks, but he and his scouting staff just kill it in the late rounds, particularly on the mound. They consistently find power arms to feed the bullpen pipeline and dangle in trades, but Austin at least has the potential to be their best late-round find yet as an impact hitter from the right side of the plate. The Yankees are going to need to add some cheap bats to the lineup in the coming years, and Austin could have himself on the big league radar by 2014 if he stays healthy and progresses as hoped.

Just FYI, McDaniel also commented on outfielders Slade Heathcott (“shows big tools with above-average left-handed power and above-average speed that makes for a potentially enticing center-field package”) and Ramon Flores (“the tools are short for big league impact”). Last week he covered Mason Williams and some of those bullpen arms.

Categories : Minors


  1. JohnC says:

    “the tools are short for big league impact” on Flores. What exactly does that mean? That he has only 1 or 2 plus MLB tools?

    • Gonzo says:

      I’m not positive but I think it means that none of his tools are MLB “impact” worthy. Meaning that if he makes it to the big league he won’t won’t excel in any tool. This will also be a hindrance in making the big league too.

      Just my interpretation.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Yes, this is it. They say that about a ton of guys, though, and some go on to have “impact” careers while plenty of “tools” guys flop. Flores has tools across the board, just no one incredible tool. Those are often the most undervalued guys by scouts (or interns). I mean I don’t think Flores should be a top 100 prospect, but that’s an arbitrary cutoff used for convenience anyway. Prospects are so volatile that plenty of non-top 100 guys will be better than top 100 guys. I definitely think he can be an impact MLB player if he keeps developing at the same pace.

        • Gonzo says:

          “..if he keeps developing at the same pace.”

          Heh, so can a ton of other minor leaguers. That’s the hard part.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Yeah, thanks for restating my point. That was literally what I said. It’s not necessarily “tons” of guys who are on the upward development path of Flores (a whole lot of guys have the tools but are struggling), but far more than the 100 guys usually considered “top” prospects because of some arbitrary, convenient cutoff.

            • Gonzo says:

              I think the point is that guys with better tools have a better shot at continuing an upward trend. Therefore, they are valued higher.

              Also, according to you Flores has “tool across the board” can be left open to interpretation to mean any player that has even a grade of 20 in any one tool. Or it could mean mean someone with average tools in every category.

              Without context of position this is also lacking in meaning. Flores has played the majority of his games in the corner OF. That makes it much tougher for him to make an impact than if he were to play good SS defense. That is to say, I don’t know how a corner OFer without hit or power tools could be undervalued.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                If a guy with more athleticism had the same results… Sure he’d be a better prospect. He’d be an elite prospect. The point is that scouts often undervalue a guy without one stand out tool or great athleticism, while overvaluing the inverse.

                Yeah, I meant a guy with the lowest possible grade on a tool has the tool. That makes sense. Very reasonable way to read what I wrote.

                Flores is average or better across the board. He hits well. He steals some bases. He can at least play CF in High A. His arm is good. His power isn’t impressive, but he doesn’t lack pop for a 20 year old in High A. it’s the last thing to develop often.

                He’s a bit of a tweener. Might be a good offensive CF or an ok corner guy in the best projectable cases. He does hit, though. He hits well and is young for his level. 20 in High A. Impact is pretty subjective, but a solid MLB starter is a lot more than you’ll get from even a high portion of top 100 prospects. I believe that Flores has a good shot at that.

                • Gonzo says:

                  Like I said, position matters. What are the odds a guy with more athleticism is playing the majority of his minor league year in LF (non-injury related)?

                  Just to be clear. You said:
                  Flores has tools across the board, just no one incredible tool. Those are often the most undervalued guys by scouts (or interns).

                  Then you said:
                  Yeah, I meant a guy with the lowest possible grade on a tool has the tool. That makes sense. Very reasonable way to read what I wrote.

                  So any guy with tool across the board, which is presumably any player that can do anything, is undervalued?

                  He played 17 games in CF in high A. I guess he can play CF in high A, but that doesn’t really add value to whether he can play it in the big league or even in AA or AAA.

                  What are you basing that he can play CF in higher levels or the bigs? I read he lacked arm strength in one report too.

                  I disagree that he has a good shot as a MLB starter, but I guess that depends on your definition of good shot.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    You are talking to yourself at this point.

                  • G says:

                    I’m 100% sure he was being facetious when he said that you were right in how you interpreted him saying “tools across the board.”

                    I know Ted can be a dick in arguments, but he’s definitely right here and you’re missing his point entirely. Flores is at least average in all facets, and while that may not be sexy or whatever you want to call it, it gives him a chance to make the bigs.

                • Gonzo says:

                  Just so we are on the same page. How many players in the Yankees’ farm system have a “good shot” at becoming “solid MLB starter.”

                  How many will become “solid MLB starters.”

                  Next, what is your definition of “good shot” and “solid MLB starter.”

                  I think we may have entirely different ideas about this.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    You have literally not processed one thing that I’ve said. We are not in the same book, let alone same page.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      That’s why I am asking questions Ted. I am wondering what book you’re reading.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      “I asked you a really simple question, because I disagreed. You have made no attempt to answer at all. You seem to be the one who wants to pick a fight and not talk baseball. I have done nothing but try to talk baseball with you. I actually thought you were one of the more reasonable commenters on here until this little charade.”

                      Can I use this line Ted?

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      You have once again made no effort to discuss baseball here. I keep explaining my points on Flores, and you keep ignoring them.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I say the guy has tools across the board and you say I might mean he does not have those tools at all (which is what a 20 means… It’s the lowest possible score… You can’t not have that tool any more than that).

                      You have constructed so many strawmen that I don’t know where to begin. I never said Flores is great. I tried to be realistic about his tools, prospects in general, and scouting in general. I have not said anything controversial. You keep putting words in my mouth and misinterpreting what I said to a ridiculous extent to make it seem like I’m saying ridiculous things.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Talking about your meaning of solid MLB starters and tools across the board aren’t talking baseball?

                      “You are talking to yourself at this point.”

                      Can I borrow this line?

                    • Gonzo says:

                      I actually said that tools across the board is open to interpretation. If you care to clarify, I’m all ears.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I have clarified. You ignored it to make a ridiculous comment.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Rank Ramon Flores’ tools Ted?

                      That’s a baseball question, right?

        • YanksFanInBeantown says:

          The issue with tools guys versus skills guys like Flores is that what you see is what you get. There’s not much room for improvement, which isn’t something you want to see in High-A.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            I disagree. Flores is not finished developing at all. He’s less likely than a guy with one or two stand-out tool(s) to lead the league in a single category (or be close to the top), but he has tools across the board that could allow him to contribute as much overall in MLB as that “tools” guy. There is still room to improve, just not as much as with some guys.

            Tools guys have more upside, but if they’re age appropriate in High A and not putting those tools to good use they also likely have low probability. If you have huge upside and high probability you are a stud prospect, and I don’t think anyone is putting Flores in that category.

            • Preston says:

              I think the hardest thing for Flores is that he isn’t going to get more athletic. There was a post awhile back where a scout said he was better than Mason. That might be true, as a hitter. But Mason projects as an excellent CF, while Flores is likely a LF. So if all of his value is going to come from the bat at a hitter friendly position he’s going to need to rake, especially if he isn’t going to hit for power. Obviously at 20 the power still might come, but scouts don’t seem to think he has power potential.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Because he’s small. And it might be true. I’m not saying he’s an elite prospect (in fact, I’ve said as much a few times now). I do think he can make an MLB impact, though, in large part because while he doesn’t stand out anywhere he’s good across the board. While he’s not a stud athlete, I think he might have enough athleticism.

                • Preston says:

                  Got it, totally agree. To me he’s a guy with a very high floor. It’s hard to picture a guy who’s so well rounded and productive at such a young age not be a 4th OFer at the least.

    • crawdaddy says:

      That he’s not going to be an impact MLB player, but I think his skill set is similar to Melky Cabrara so who knows what happens once he becomes a big league ballplayer.

      • jjyank says:

        That’s my interpretation too. I think it means that he can be a big leaguer, but he won’t have any one aspect of his game that stands out.

        • MannyGeee says:

          thats why he needs to change his name to something with more ‘spark’… you really think if his name was Pete Cabrera instead of “Melky” we would be talking about him now?


          I propose he change is name from Ramon to “Napoleon d’Artagnan Flores”…

          BOOM! a prospect is born

          • jjyank says:

            Yes. The 6th tool of a baseball player (his name) is vastly underrated.

            Yeicock Calderon, come on down!

            • Ted Nelson says:

              In all seriousness, I think approach is the 6th tool. It’s not essential and can develop late, but same can be said for power.

              So name is maybe 7th

            • Voice of Reason says:

              I don’t know how this could be proven, but it’s inconceivable that having a cool or baseball-y name doesn’t play a role in how prospects are evaluated. If Exicardo Cayones and Ramon Flores swapped names, Cayones would be higher on prospect lists, and Flores would still be with the Pirates.

      • Gonzo says:

        Be careful about Melky comps. Melky actually played in a handful of MLB games before he turned 21. He also played a legitimate CF and could run a little.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I tink that’s a somewhat fair comparison.

      • Brian S. says:

        Ramon Flores has great patience at the plate and walks a lot. Melky never did that.

    • Matt Montero says:

      Yea that was only a snippet, he wrote a whole paragraph about him. He said he was limited upside and will probably end up being a 4th outfielder if he reaches his potential.

  2. Andy Pettitte's Fibula (former Manny's BanWagon) says:

    Hope he continues to progress. The Yankees are gonna need some home grown cost controlled outfielders shortly.

  3. Andy Pettitte's Fibula (former Manny's BanWagon) says:

    2015 Yankees


    How cool would that be

  4. Tim says:

    I think they’re selling Tyler Austin’s ceiling short, the kid has hit over .300 at every stop so far, and I believe could be a .300+ avg., 850+ OPS guy at the ML level. If he progresses as planned, is he more of a 1B/DH, available as backup RF/LF/3B kind of guy? Who knows he could develop into a good defensive 1B. Maybe a righthanded Don Mattingly? Very intriguing prospect and could be a good one.

    An outfield of Gardner/Mason Williams/Heathcott, infield of Austin/Cano/ FA SS/FA 3b/A-rod and Sanchez behind the plate could be very formidable.

  5. Johnny O says:

    has slade restored a bit of prospect shine? obvious issue is health, but after a lot of time off he seems to be hitting pretty well so far.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Sure seems like it. He hasn’t been talked about this way in quite a while. Maybe there’s hope just yet.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I don’t know. I think people that when healthy this is what he can do.

        • Preston says:

          Batting .273/.360/.488 coming off of surgery at A+ at 21 is pretty good. Especially when you have the athleticism and arm to be a true CF and a legitimate base stealer. I personally would have ranked him far higher than Mike, seventh behind Williams, Sanchez, Austin, Banuelos and Phelps.

          • YanksFanInBeantown says:

            Does he have the arm anymore? His left shoulder has had two surgeries already.

            And prospect lists aren’t just about upside. He gets injured every year, that has to be a knock against him.

            • Preston says:

              I think his injury history is overblown. He had a shoulder issue in High-School from football. It probably was treated poorly and he struggled with it. Now he’s had surgery performed by the best arthroscopic sports surgeons in the world and has given it proper time to heal and rehab. If he has shoulder issues next year I’ll say he’s a guy who can’t stay healthy.

              • Preston says:

                Plus we aren’t just talking about his upside, we’re talking about his production. If you knew you could have a cost controlled Jacoby Ellsbury in your system, but knew he’d be hurt for 3 of the six years would you not be happy to have the other three years of control?

            • Voice of Reason says:

              I’m sure his injuries are held against him for the most part. Who knows about his arm, I’d assume it’s not as strong as it once was, but outfield arm strength varies a lot more than pitchers’ arm strength. If he started out with a plus or plus plus arm, it’ll probably never be weak, just not an asset.

  6. Reggie C. says:

    Austin’s injury stint pretty much robbed him of a month’s worth of games. He’s easily the most interesting power prospect in the farm and a strong finish to the season would force the hand of prospect evaluators to add Austin to the back half of top 50 lists.

    I’m not saying Austin has to keep slugging .550 to finish strong, a difficult feat considering the FSL is known as pitching-friendly. I can see the org promote Austin to Trenton kick off 2013, but he’d need to finish strong.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Sanchez is pretty interesting as well.

      And Austin is already on top 50 lists… So I’m a little confused there.

  7. Gonzo says:

    This is the first I heard about position issues with Austin. That’s interesting.

    • Preston says:

      It’s really conjecture, he’s a good RF now. But the problem is that if his power projections in the upper minors and majors are going to come to fruition he’s probably going to have to add a little more muscle. Which of course would make his mobility out their even worse. I personally believe the guy will stick in RF. He’s not a great athlete, but he obviously has a high baseball IQ. He’s stolen 36/38 bags, and moved to RF a position he’d never played previously without a hitch. That makes me think that he’ll be the kind of guy who’s instincts, ball reads and glove work will probably make up for a lack of athleticism.

  8. Frankeee1 says:

    great article. lots of insight and depth. good post

  9. GAyankee says:

    I’m not a scout at all, but I saw Austin in person earlier this year vs the Rome Braves and it was obvious he was way too advanced for low-A. Even met his Mom in the stands as she was screaming after he hit the go ahead homerun in the top of the 9th.

    Tim, I think I read some other reports that some scouts were concerned about him hitting for a high average because he has a long swing. There is no denying the power is there though because everything he hit when I saw him was hit right on the screws.

  10. crawdaddy says:

    I question the comment about his speed too. I think he’s faster than some writers are giving him credit for.

    • Johnny O says:

      what are you basing that on? I think the writers are basing this on scouts who are at the games with stop watches and timing him running the bases. i will go with them.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I think a lot of it is just pointing out that he’s not a speedster the way his SB numbers might suggest, not neccessarily that he’s really that slow.

      Some are also projecting forward as he fills out, which is largely speculation and could happen when he’s 23 or 33.

      And I definitely agree that the “eye test” often fails to properly evaluate relevant athleticism.

  11. Ted Nelson says:

    Hasn’t been a good year, but I wouldn’t really call it a down year. The majority of their prospects have stepped up. Most of the down years are injuries that may or may not have any long-term impact. Only total bomb has been Betances. Bichette, too, but he did skip a level.

    Not so sure about this continued obsession with RH power. Offense is down from the roid era, but a lot of the games’ power hitters are RH. The skill doesn’t seem to have much value–Andruw or Willingham as examples–which it would if demand were so much greater than supply. Do you have any evidence about RH power being particularly hard to come by?

    • jjyank says:

      Maybe part of the right handed power thing, especially opposite field power, is Yankee Stadium’s short porch. Obviously that’s limited to just this organization, but I can understand why lefty power and righty opposite field power is more appealing than other styles of play.

      • Gonzo says:

        No, I’ve heard it repeated many times the past couple of years by baseball writers. I don’t know of a study or anything but if you look at HR leaders for the past couple of years and combine that with the fact that only ~16% of position players are LH’d it kinda jibes.

    • Reggie C. says:

      Lost seasons from Banuelos and Campos, respectively, really crimped the front office’s ability to maneuver this trade market. Would Cashman have made a trade for Headley or Matt Garza and traded Banuelos … perhaps.

      Here’s hoping Banuelos can find himself back on a competitive mound before the season is done to finish with some 4-5 additional starts before winter ball starts up.

      • blake says:

        yea….at least he’s still really young though and already in AAA….never good to lose a season like this but if he can get healthy then it shouldn’t affect him too much long term…

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I really doubt it. Garza is a mid-rotation starter. Headley isn’t a great fit, unfortunately, since his OF D in LF was bad. Cashman had three healthy top 50 prospects and hardly any top 50 prospects (none? Segura was close) changed hands.

        If Banuelos were healthy I’d think he’d be close to untouchable. Would have to be a total elite talent at a position with some need. Neither Garza nor Headley qualifies. Top 25-30 prospect, LHP, youngest at his level, totally dominant his short healthy stretch this season…

        • Slugger27 says:

          3.83 FIP is 24 innings is “totally dominant”?? get real.

          hes not a top 25-30 prospect. he got injured, which is a lost year for development. its better than pulling a betances, but hes not playing htis year because of an injury while his competitors are all playing, getting better, working on their flaws, etc.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            He’s still one of the youngest guys at AAA.

            TSJC’s burrito.

            • Jim Is Bored says:

              I wonder if he realizes the burrito meme would live on forever.

            • Slugger27 says:

              im not doubting the guys abililty, nor am i saying hes destined to never impact the mlb club.

              im saying his season was a total waste (bomb), and it was. im also saying that the tiny sample that he WAS healthy, certainly wasn’t “totally dominant”

              the guy was one of the top LHP prospects in all of mlb. he was decent in 24 innings and then out the rest of the year with an injury. how is that not a total waste of a year?

          • Ted Nelson says:

            His back was hurt that first stint. His healthy starts were between DL stints. He dominated. Completely and totally, as the youngest player at the highest MiLB level.

            Yes, he is a top 50 at least prospect. Law literally said that if eligible he’d be on his list and BA mentioned him among injured players. Injured players aren’t eligible for mid-season lists, but that doesn’t mean they lost any skill.

            The “lost year” thing is not nearly as straight line as you suggest. There is no one decelopment path.

            • G says:

              I actually calculated his numbers excluding starts preceding his two DL stints (all early, the one before the 2nd one) and they came out to 0.61 ERA with a 9.20 K/9 and 0.00 BB/9. That may be a bit unreasonable, but if you just take away the early stretch and leave in the last start I removed, it’s still a damn impressive 2.89 ERA across 18.2 innings with a 9.64 K/9 and a 1.44 BB/9. I’d call that dominant for sure, albeit in a small sample size.

    • Slugger27 says:

      its not just betances. id say bichette is a total bomb. same with romine. also jr murphy. ditto banuelos.

      obviously missing time because of injury (obviously depending on the severity) is better than playing the whole season and sucking, but a lost year of development is a lost year of development.

      • YanksFanInBeantown says:

        Yeah, because a 19 year old not hitting in full season ball is the end of the world.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I mentioned Bichette. He’s bombing, but in his first full pro season, and skipped a level. This isn’t completely losing the zone you barely knew was there in AAA in your mid-20s like Betances. He may never recover, but given his age and rookie ball success he might just be overwhelmed temporarily. The other HS guys he was drafted with are a level or two below him.

        You can’t do well or poorly when you don’t play… It might be nothing long-term. And these two guys have been successful up through AA. They only have so much more development before being MLB ready… If they both weren’t already. Different guys develop at different rates. You can still be learning the game while injured, and especially learning about adversity and the physical wear of baseball.

        League average hitting in High A and AA from a 21 year old C is bombing? I wish all their prospects would bomb then…

        • Slugger27 says:

          im not disagreeing with what you’re saying about prospects in general. im disagreeing with the idea that betances is the only total bomb. on a whole, id say its certainly a bad year for the minors.

          betances, romine, banuelos, bichette, campos were all top 10 prospects in this system before the season and id say all 5 had a season that was either disastrous or close to it. they can all rebound, of course, but thats 5 guys that either did really shitty or didnt develop at all due to injury. 5 of the top 10. and this isnt even counting murphy.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Campos and Banuelos beasted when healthy. Murphy is having a good year, so you can’t possibly count him. Stop trying to count an early slump. Romine was already arguably MLB ready. Two years at AA… Lots of guys skip AAA. If Bichette were in Staten Island, what would his numbers be? If they were good, that would change your opinion?

            We’re down to Betances.

            And why are we focusing only on the bad and ignoring the good? You can have all 10 have bad years, but if they’re replaced with 10 better guys it may have been a decent year.

            Between context and positives, I think it was a decent enough year so far. With a month to go.

          • AP says:

            Banuelos and Romine you just can’t include, because… well, you just can’t. While they’ve spent some time on the field, their situation is almost exactly like Campos. Injury does not equate to failure.

            Bichette is actually holding his own at that level. The only real disappointing thing I see is the lack of power, but considering his age and level, I’d say he’s otherwise performing to expectations (if your expectations are reasonable). Murphy has been a little more disappointing, but still far from “bombing”.

            So, as Ted mentioned, that leaves Betances.

            • Slugger27 says:

              if you think bichettes 239/309/322 line is “holding his own” then i dont know what to tell you and the argument is pointless. agree to disagree.

              and its still unclear to me how missing a whole year due to arm injury is anything but a worst case scenario for a top pitching prospect.

              • YanksFanInBeantown says:

                They could have had serious arm injuries with structural damage.

                2 strained, not torn or even partially torn, UCLs is far from the worst case scenario.

                Jeremy Bleich is the worst case scenario.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                There’s a pretty good chance of no long-term ramifications here… How is that anywhere near the worst case?

      • Ted Nelson says:

        And the other half the story is to look at all the guys who are not bombing… That list is a lot longer and just as star studded. This season could have been a ton better, but it was still ok.

      • Brian S. says:

        Murphy has been pretty good in AA.

      • MannyGeee says:

        they can’t all be Trouts. You know who else didnt hit to his potential in AAA? Cano. You know who else? Jesus Christ.

        Those two guys worked out OK.

  12. Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

    Any one know what is up with JR Murphy? I have not seen his name in recent MiL news. I was hoping he moves to AAA next year and maybe he and Romine coulddo the catching in 2013. I’d like to see Sanchez in AA next season also and if he does well in AAA by the end of the season. Some of these youngsters will have a big impact on the future of the team.

    • Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

      Romine early in the season and Murphy a little later if he does well in AAA.

    • AP says:

      Scranton – Romine
      Trenton – Murphy
      Tampa – Sanchez
      Charleston – Arcia
      Staten Island – O’Brien

      That’s my guess as to where they each start 2013 and each could (should?) be bumped midseason.

  13. Will says:

    I also saw Tyler play in person against the Asheville Tourists. The bat speed assessment is right on. It was noticeable and maybe like another post said, he was way too advanced for the league. He squared up on every ball making great contact even when fouling pitches off. Seemed to get good reads and jumps on the ball in the OF and arm seemed above average. Fun to see him and the other guys (Sanchez, M. Williams, Bichette, Culver).

  14. blake says:

    Law seems to think Austin can be an above average big league RFer for what thats worth….and he loves Mason.

  15. GIo says:

    Sounds a little like Swisher.

  16. JohnC says:

    Anyone know how David Adams has looked at 3rd base so far?

    • Samuel says:

      Pretty decent with glove and arm, but his range (especially to his left side) is something he really needs to improve.

      But, he can hit the crap out of the ball with great plate discipline and is a virtual doubles machine.

  17. LarryM.,Fl. says:

    If the Yankees are serious about the 189 budget then they will have to allow younger players to develop and play on the big club.

    I sit and wait for the day when Phelps will be given a real shot at showing his abilities. It must be frustrating to the kid to be sent down to stretch out. Returned to the big club only to watch Freddie throw his 9 hitters over 5 or 6 innings with the usual 4 runs given up. You would think Phelps could match on most days or do better on some and gain valuable experience in the mean time.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      He’s going to do what the club asks him to do. He’s wearing the uniform of the greatest franchise in sports. It was his turn to ride the shuttle this year and fill in when necessary. He put himself on the map, which is what he needed to do. The other guys in his cohort did not.

      There’s an opportunity for him to be in the rotation next year, plus an opportunity to excel in the spot he’s in right now. No matter what spot he’s in, this guy stands a real chance of playing post-season baseball in his first pro year. We can all write him a Valentine and sign it later.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Must be really tough to make mid-six figures at 25. My heart really goes out to him for his suffering.

      He’s a rookie on a strong WS contender. This is the norm.

  18. DM says:

    Cust cut; Mesa up. Was this posted elsewhere?

  19. Januz says:

    Austin has been one of the highlights of the Minors this year. Do not forget Brett Marshall and Mark Montgomery (They might be the closest to being MAJOR contributors to the Yankees). Of course, prospects are just that prospects. I remember, everyone blasted the Yankees for trading Arodys Vizcaino, but he (So far) has not panned out. We did pretty well with Boone Logan part of the Vasquez trade.

  20. Preston says:

    I don’t think I would say that the minors have been a disappointment this year. Banuelos and Campos each lost a season. But neither had structural damage and both are young enough that it hasn’t really put them behind schedule in their development. Betances and Romine are probably the biggest disappointment. But honestly I think we all knew that this was a make or break year for Betances. We didn’t think he’d go down this hard, but I would have put the odds at 50/50 whether or not he’d still be a starter at the end of this year. Romine has been a big disappointment, especially because we could have used him with the black hole we have at C. But his prospect shine has been fading for several years now. We have all just been waiting for Murphy and Sanchez to pass him by. These really just strike me as the up and downs of an organization. We’ve also enjoyed breakouts from Sanchez, Williams, Austin, Phelps, Mesa and others so I’d say it’s probably a wash.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      This is my sentiment as well. And Romine was injured. Not like he bombed. Pretty close to MLB ready at a valuable position, so could push his way onto the scene next year. But as you say, was hardly being counted on as an above average starting C IMO.

  21. Robert says:

    2014 Yanks 1b TEX
    2b Cano
    ss Gumps
    3b Jeter
    C Sanchez
    rf Austin
    CF Mason Williams
    lf Slade H.
    Can this happen?

    • jjyank says:

      Can it? Sure. Will it? Probably not.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Yeah… And if it does it’s probably more likely to mean that things have gone terribly wrong forcing promotions than awesomely right.

        Certainly some prospects should be ready by 2014 (not just limiting it to those guys, but opening it up to Banuelos, Romine, Murphy, Montgomery, Goody, CoJo, Adams, Pirela, Warren, Marshall, Melky, Zoilo, etc.). The chances that all of their best A-ball prospects deserve to be in a contending lineup the year after next… Close to zero. Out of those five one is somewhat possible (I might put it at 25-33% off the top of my head) and two would be amazing.

    • Brian S. says:

      I don’t see how most of those prospects will be ready to start 2014. Maybe late season call ups if they are still doing well.

      • Preston says:

        If the Yankees were agressive with Heathcott, Williams, Sanchez, or Austin and started them in AA next season and they absolutely raked they could go to AAA at mid-season, maybe earn a late season cup of coffee and come back and earn a job in 2014. I could see this happening with one of the OFer’s. but Sanchez as a C, probably wouldn’t be promoted that quickly for defensive reasons. And I’m assuming you mean Gumbs not Gumps and that won’t happen. He’s at A ball playing 2b and while he’s playing well he isn’t forcing anyone to promote him quickly.

    • Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

      Say it is so Cashman. I love it.

  22. ajra21 says:

    Nice lineup but somethings aren’t quite right. No Brett? Jeter to third? Not gonna happen. Gumbs isn’t a shortstop. What about Dante Jr?

  23. Mike says:


    Was this the game at Rome on a Sunday afternoon?

    If so, I was there also and was also impressed by Austin.


    • GAyankee says:

      I went to the Saturday and Sunday game. I honestly can’t remember which day he hit the homer…I think Sunday.

  24. Samuel says:

    As with any minor league prospect, we all will never know how a kid will perform in the majors unless he gets a significant opportunity to play in the majors. And I don’t mean a game here and there, go 0-3 and 0-4, then get sent down again.

    The Yankees have a seriously difficult time allowing young position players adequate playing time to transition their game to the major leagues.

    If a young kid doesn’t perform well right away, they usually never get a shot again to play. (Imagine if Robinson Cano didn’t show some ability in 2005?) The jump in talent is the biggest from AAA to the majors, even more so than the gap in talent from High A to Double A.

    While it is easy to allow these kids a chance in Double A, it takes more guts to allow them to prosper in the majors.

    And the Yankees (and their fans) don’t have those type of guts.

    So, we can debate all we want about Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott and Ramon Flores, but unless they get a significant opportunity to play in the majors, like at least two full seasons, we will never know for sure if they will be impact players or not.

    And if a particular player doesn’t do well within two months, you damn well know they will never sniff months three and four to prove themselves, let alone a second full season.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Who have the Yankees struggled to give a chance that deserved it exactly?

      • Samuel says:

        Eduardo Nunez.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          He was their UTL for over a season, then he got hurt immediately after getting sent down to work on a weakness… How do you give a guy on the DL a chance?

          I am about the biggest Nunez guy on this blog, and I find that pretty ridiculous

      • Samuel says:

        And I also would have liked to have seen Brandon Laird receive many more at bats than the Yankees gave him.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Guy is just now starting to hit in AAA. Why would anyone assume a guy who is terrible in AAA will be good in MLB?

    • Preston says:

      Nova and Hughes, especially the latter, were given multiple chances to succeed. So were Cano and Brett Gardner. I can’t think of a single top prospect who was given up on in the way you’re saying. Jackson/Kennedy/Montero were all traded for value, not given up on. And in both cases the other GM approached the Yanks. Jack Z asked specifically what it would take to get Jesus, and Dombrowski was looking to trade Granderson to cut salary. It’s not like we were shopping any of those guys.
      Even if what you say were true, waiting on prospects to pan out isn’t a great strategy. The Indians are still waiting on Laporta to be an elite hitter, and the Mariners are waiting for everybody to start hitting. It’s not inevitable that a good prospect will ever be a good MLB player. No reason to let him be a negative producer in the line-up. Send him back to AAA and wait for him to force his way back. The way Phil did in 2009, Nova did last year and Phelps did this year.

      • Samuel says:

        I am referring to POSITION players, so Hughes, Robertson, Nova, Phelps (who I am all fans of) don’t count for this scenario.

        If a hitter does very well in Triple A and is promoted, but struggles, then improves, but then struggles again, he will be sent to the minors “to work things out.”

        What does he need to work out in Triple A? He has already shown he can perform well against Triple A pitching.

        The guy needs time to adjust to major league pitching, and to see major league pitching. Hitting great against Triple A pitching again is not going to help him hit major league pitching.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          That you say that and then list Laird as your second example is beyond ridiculous. He has proven nothing in AAA.

          That Nunez is your only other example is equally funny. He was not sent down for his offense at all.

          So… You have zero examples of what you’re taking about.

  25. 88yanks says:

    not that mike is not that bright

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