Yankees Editorial: Can Tyler Austin Make An Impact?


If there is one major bright spot of this off-season, it is the replenishing of the New York Yankees’ farm system. In Keith Law’s analysis of the 2015 organizations he concluded that the Yankees have the 20th ranked farm in all of baseball.  This is something for the front office to hang their hat on and can consider it a major step forward in the new direction they want to go. We noted and heard it that the future for the club is a cheaper and younger team. We saw Brian Cashman make move, after move, to send age and salary for cheap youth and high upside.

As fans, our single-minded championship mentality has shifted to look to something else, prospects. We now have numerous names to talk about and hype up. The conversation has changed from a 28th ring in 2015 to the debut of *blank* and his potential to be the next great ballplayer. However, as much as the debuts of certain prospects are anxiously anticipated, we will have to wait to see them. One prospect does have the potential to crack the 25-man roster though, and in doing so he can provide a major contribution.

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The Yankees drafted 6’1, 220-pound Tyler Austin in the 13th round of the 2010 draft. Austin made a name for himself with his versatility and sweet right-handed stroke. He has a great approach at the plate and hits mostly for average while displaying flashes of power. Scoutingbook.com gives his scouting report:

"“Austin is a right-handed hitter with a quick and strong swing to all fields, which makes him extra-potent once his advanced batting eye and patience is brought to bear. His power is rapidly approaching plus, and while he’ll be no leadoff-type base stealer, a middle-order back with better than average speed is exactly what the Yankees are looking for these days.”"

Although the Yankees’ outfield is crowded with Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Garrett Jones, and Chris Young, there will be plenty of opportunities for Austin to crack the roster. There is almost a guarantee that one of the outfielders listed will get hurt. That could be a chance for the right fielder to be called up and demonstrate what he is capable of.

Furthermore, if it is not a spot in the outfield it could be at first base. Mark Teixeira hasn’t played an injury free season in what seems ages. Althought Cashman acquired Jones to backup Tex in the event he goes down, the front office could give Austin a shot at his secondary position.

Austin can only help his odds by having a great spring. If he continues his hot hitting that he finished 2014, .248/.309/.358, then he can seriously provide an impact in 2015. A player with youth and high energy can be enough to stimulate the rest of the roster. Also, he is already on the 40-man roster which means the Yankees trust him enough and want to keep him a part of the organization. His spot on the roster protects him from other teams in the Rule-5 Draft.

Austin could be the first of the many prospects we begin to see as the Yankee roster is shaped and molded for the future.


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