A few years ago, the Yankees had a very real possibility of an all homegrown outfield of Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott and Tyler Austin. Between injuries, and lack of performance (and some change being spent on Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner), those dreams are done. However, Austin seems to be on his way back.
Austin was a 13th round pick back in 2010 out of high school. He got in two games that year. In 2011 he opened up some eyes, hitting a combined .354 and got to play in Staten Island.
Austin really broke out in 2012, making it all the way up to AA Trenton. For Charleston, he hit .320 with 14 homers and 54 RBI.
Austin was rated the 77th best prospect by Baseball America and 75th by MLB.com going into last season.
But then the injury bug bit him.
Austin injured his wrist in July of last year and it sidelined him all the way until the end of the season. He hit only .257 with six homers and 40 RBI. Austin was then sent to the Arizona Fall League to get a little more time under his belt, but the wrist started up again and he had to be shut down.
Austin was invited to big league camp in 2014. He again had soreness in his wrist and missed most of spring training and the start of this year. Going into play last night, he’s hitting .270 with six homers and 37 RBI. He’s been playing right field and first, though he’s starting to get it together, hitting .438 in his past 12 games.
Austin clearly has some chops, it’s just a matter of him staying healthy and getting more time. He doesn’t turn 23 until September. If he continues to hit, you could see him in the Bronx at some point in 2015.