Prospect Profile: Tyler Austin

2014 Stats: 

Level: AFL/AA

.280/.345/.424   8.9% BB%  17.8% K%   .144 ISO   .326 BABIP   7/11 SB   -8 DEF

Austin ranked #19 on Chris Yankees top 100 list.

Background

Drafted in the 13th round of the 2010 draft, it wasn’t until 2012 when Tyler Austin burst onto the prospect scene. That year, he posted a 161 wRC+ mostly between Single-A Charleston and High-A Tampa (he had 8 plate appearances in Double-A, too). Following that monster campaign, Austin cracked Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list for the first and only time, ranking 77th. A wrist injury slowed down his ascent in 2013, sapping the impressive power he displayed in 2012 (from a .239 ISO down to .118).

2014 Results

Austin got off to a slow start, putting up a 94 wRC+ and .116 ISO through June. He turned it around in July, and finished off the final couple months of the Double-A season with an impressive 131 wRC+ and .180 ISO, a step toward what he did in 2012. Then, Tyler proceeded to tear up the Arizona Fall League with a 135 wRC+ (79 plate appearances) up until a knee injury cut the season short. All told, it was a nice rebound for Austin after a difficult 2013.

What KATOH says

Chris€™ projection system isn’t a believer in Austin, but keep in mind that it’s accounting for Austin’s full season. It doesn’t know that perhaps Austin’s wrist didn’t really feel 100% until mid-2014. Obviously that’s just a theory, but just something worth thinking about when looking at this projection. Austin’s mediocre walk rate (8.2%) and power (.144 ISO) in his full season at Double-A, even as a 22 year-old, just doesn’t impress KATOH.

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2015 Outlook

Expect Austin to be Triple-A Scranton’s everyday right fielder this year. Hopefully, another year removed from wrist problems will bring the right-handed hitter closer to his 2012 dominance. He’s on the 40-man roster, so a solid showing will certainly make him an option as a midseason call-up, although Ramon Flores probably a rung ahead of him at this stage. Regardless, we should get a taste of Austin in the big leagues at some point in September.

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