BLUF: Has the ceiling of an above-average regular with average and power in right field.
The Player: Tyler Austin (OF, New York Yankees) – Pried away from a Kennesaw State commitment with a $130,000 signing bonus in the 13th round in 2010. After playing in only two games of debut season, hit .390/.438/.622 in 20 games with GCL Yankees before being promoted to NYPL in 2011. Posted equally impressive .323/.402/.542 line in 27 games as a 19-year old in that league. Started on a torrid pace in the South Atlantic League in 2012, finishing with a .320/.405/.598 line in 70 games before being promoted to High-A. Has hit .327 with three doubles and a triple in just 13 games with Tampa Yankees since promotion.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Personal Observation (NYPL 2012), Industry Contacts
Body (6-2, 200): Good, physical build. Broad shoulders with muscular physique. Looks the part. Plenty of strength and solid athleticism.
Hit: Has good bat speed that helps make up for a bit of a slow load at times. Late on plus FB at times because of load/trigger. Quick hands and bat speed help make up for it and get his bat to the zone on time. Very upright stance, forcing head to drop at times as he strides. Small tweaks to this could allow less head movement and even more solid contact. Shows solid feel for the barrel and knack for hard contact. Starting to use whole field more and will need to continue doing so. Likes to swing and will be too aggressive at times. Approach must improve to maximize tool. Potential plus hitter at peak. Grade – 30/60
Power: Plenty of raw strength and plus to plus-plus bat speed. Snaps the bat through the zone. Has good elevation in his swing and keeps the bat in the zone a long time. Plus raw to the pull side and could have similar power to the opposite field if he trusts his swing/strength more. Grade (raw power) – 50/60
Arm: Mechanics have transitioned well to OF. Gets rid of the ball quickly and with solid accuracy that should continue to improve. Plus raw arm strength that should play in games. Grade – 60/60
Fielding: Still learning and improving reads/routes in the OF. Has made strong improvement. Has feel for the game and should be a solid player on either corner. Aggressive style of play allows him to overcome some deficiencies now and could make him an asset down the line. Grade – 40/50
Speed: Good athlete with smooth running motion. Shows average speed down the line and in the OF as well. Has slowed a tick since signing and could slow more as he continues to fill out his strong frame. Likely below-average runner, but speed won’t be a problem offensively or defensively. Grade – 50/40
Summation: Has matured quickly and shows plus offensive potential. Strong player with good instincts and solid feel for hitting. Makes good contact regularly and should hit for a good average and plus power down the line. Has free-swinging approach but doesn’t have excessive swing-and-miss in his game. Should contribute in RF long term with solid range and instincts, and a plus arm. Good character guy as well. Tough-minded player that is high effort/energy. Potential .280+ average with lots of doubles and 20-25 home runs if it all comes together.
Relative Risk: High. Still room for approach/aggressiveness to be exploited and will have to adjust.
Future: Has moved quickly to date but will need time to adjust to higher-caliber pitching at Double-A in 2013. Could be on target for a September cameo in 2014 and will likely compete for a job in New York in 2015.