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Yankees “thought about” shifting Tyler Austin back to third base

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Dec 19, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

On the day he was drafted, Tyler Austin was labeled as a catcher. The Yankees quickly put him at the infield corners, where he played through his first full year as a professional. Last season, the Yankees moved Austin to right field, and he had his breakout year as a prospect.

Today, though, it’s third base that stands out as a growing concern in the Yankees organization. The team’s minor league system has several outfield prospects, but Alex Rodriguez is headed for another hip surgery and Dante Bichette Jr. had a disappointing first full season as a professional.

This winter, the Yankees at least considered the idea of moving Austin back to third base, but they ultimately decided to keep him in right field for the time being.

“He’s a better defender in right,” vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman said. “But (putting him back at third) is something we’ve thought about. It’s a possibility.”

The Yankees still expect Rodriguez to come back from his latest injury, and they have him under contract for the next five years. They have a hole in right field as well, so it’s not as if Austin is blocked if he stays in the outfield.

But third base is clearly a point of interest, if not concern, for the Yankees. Rodriguez is declining, Bichette hit just three home runs last season, and Rob Segedin hasn’t shown typical third-base power (he’s also gotten more time in the outfield lately, and he struggled after this year’s a mid-season promotion to Double-A). Right now, David Adams might be the Yankees top third base prospect, but he missed nearly two full seasons with an ankle injury and has seen far more time at second base than at third.

Austin, on the other hand, has emerged as an elite young hitter. He just turned 21 in September and hit .322/.400/.559 while climbing from Low-A to Double-A last season. He actually impressed the Yankees with his adjustment to the outfield, and although eventually moving him back to third base hasn’t been ruled out, but it’s not part of the Yankees plans at the moment.

“He can do that,” Newman said. “”We’ve got flexibility, which is not a bad thing to have.”

 
 

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67 Responses to “Yankees “thought about” shifting Tyler Austin back to third base”

  1. jacksquat December 19th, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    As for my post earlier about negativity, I’m not some pom pom waiver, I’ve made my share of criticisms on this board for sure. Don’t throw me in with Trisha because I made one comment about being positive.

    And yes, analytical is fine, it’s just when someone *always* is making negative post after negative post, the sky is falling, woe is me, it gets to be a little much.

    There are certainly valid criticisms of this team, but there are things to watch in 2013 nevertheless. I like watching CC, Kuroda, Andy, Mo, Robertson, Jeter, Cano, Gardner, Ichiro, I’ll see if Tex can improve hitting lefthanded, see if Granderson can get his average back up and maybe the k’s down a little, see if Youk can bounce back…

    And it’s not like this team can’t win the division, it’s just going to be a challenge and require some luck with health. All teams have holes and now the Yankees do also.

  2. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    there is an opening for someone who can play both 3B and OF. it might be worthwhile to see if he can switch back and forth a little.

  3. Jerkface December 19th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Positionally versatility is always welcome, but not at the cost of development.

  4. jacksquat December 19th, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Try to get Wilmer Flores from the Mets.

  5. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    i agree about development, but i always kinda felt like some guys can switch and some guys just can’t. and i’d like to at least discern which kinda guy he is b/c the guys who can switch positions (and hit) are soo valuable.

  6. blake December 19th, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Get mike Olt

  7. blake December 19th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    If Austin can play there then cool… But they need cheap outfielders too

  8. Jerkface December 19th, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    i agree about development, but i always kinda felt like some guys can switch and some guys just can’t. and i’d like to at least discern which kinda guy he is b/c the guys who can switch positions (and hit) are soo valuable.

    Very true, they have to be careful though to not sit too long with a guy who is clearly a NOT (like Nunez). If Austin cannot switch back & forth, leave him at his best position and take the good players where they come.

  9. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    wilmer flores…wasn’t that the kid bogey disarmed in” The Maltese Falcon?”

  10. DONNYBROOK December 19th, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    “Not part of the Yankees plans At The Moment”. Translation = “Playing chinese checkers with Top Prospects is Always on the table”. You either got a plan with a Top Busher or you don’t.

  11. jacksquat December 19th, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 4:50 pm
    wilmer flores…wasn’t that the kid bogey disarmed in” The Maltese Falcon?”

    No, he’s the one who hit .300 .349 .479 .827 at A+/AA this year and struck out only 60 times in 547 pa while doing it, at age 20.

  12. Patrick December 19th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Just leave Austin in RF.

  13. G. Love December 19th, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    The fact that Tyler Austin hit at AA gives me some hope we have an OF corner on the way sooner than later. It seems like succeeding at AA is the real indicator that these guys can make the jump.

    The team needs corner OF’ers and a 3b so if he can fill either role potentially that would be great.

    I hope he makes it. Seeing Sherman’s column this morning about how Mets fans shouldn’t be celebrating in the street for what they got for Dickey mentioning how many can’t miss guys often miss like LaPorta, Smoak & Drabek is a sobering reminder how much has to go right for these guys to make it in the majors.

  14. blake December 19th, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    High A to AA is the biggest jump in the minors other than the jump to the big leagues…..so yea hitting there is a good indicator.

    If Austin and Heathcott hit at Trenton next year they high could be top 25 guys by the end of the season and knocking on YS’s door…..or whatever stadium of the team they are trading to for pitching

  15. jacksquat December 19th, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Austin had only 8 pa at AA, he still has to prove himself there, along with probably Heathcott and Ramon Flores.

  16. blake December 19th, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    @Alden_Gonzalez: Source: #Angels have traded Kendrys Morales to the #Mariners for SP Jason Vargas.

    Jason Vargas?

  17. blake December 19th, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    So where is Montero gonna play?

  18. blake December 19th, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    @mikeaxisa: So is Montero going to catch next year? How else do they fit Smoak, Kendrys, and Montero into the lineup?

  19. RayVT December 19th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    WOW! Morales for Vargas? Wow! Maybe Montero is coming back home to NY! It seemed like most every ex-yankee was coming back last year.

  20. austinmac December 19th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Good trade for the Mariners. I was never very impressed with Vargas, and Morales may well bounce back further.

    His ankle injury and Adams’ makes me hope they had a worse injury than Jeter. They took a long time to recover.

  21. blake December 19th, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Get Montero back!

  22. Shame Spencer December 19th, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Montero to 1B.. ?

    Can we have him back lol??

    With the catching market being so thin, it wouldn’t surprise me if they could flip him for something else they need..

  23. RayVT December 19th, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Ivan for Jesus!

  24. G. Love December 19th, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    jacksquat,

    Only 8 AB’s in AA? Chad’s post made it sound like it was a more substantial amount of time than that. Oh well.

    He’s got a lot to prove. It’s still nice to have some positional talent ticketed for AA. I think, with the way the Yankees are operating, we need most of these guys to hit.

  25. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    let’s just say they don’t sign another fa of note from now till 2014 except cano…

    2014 Yankees: tex, cano, jeter, cervelli, arod, ichiro, gardner and cc, nova, phelps, warren, pineda and robertson .

  26. austinmac December 19th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    The thought of Montero catching will get our friend, MTU, Jaso hunting again.

  27. blake December 19th, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    “2014 Yankees: tex, cano, jeter, cervelli, arod, ichiro, gardner and cc, nova, phelps, warren, pineda and robertson .”

    That’s not a very good team

  28. austinmac December 19th, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    I don’t want to get into an analysis of Montero’s catching ability, but even if he could catch 50-60 games and then be our very much needed RH DH, he would sure help. I still would love see him hit some more to right field. That was fun.

  29. austinmac December 19th, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Ivan for Montero.

    Sounds like a reasonable deal, but Compass Rosy would tell us they have plenty of pitching but need hitting. I don’t know, but I’d like Cashman to make that call.

  30. blake December 19th, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Grandy for Montero and sign Hamilton ….crap

  31. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    thats not a very good team but it’s not a horrible start.

    plus you probably have another $20M or so to add to it.

  32. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    if you don’t sign cano, you’ve got $45M to fill out the roster.

  33. MTU December 19th, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Mac-

    I just thought a young catching tandem of Jaso/Romine would have been awesome.

    Rosy refuses to let him go so I’m done with that.

    ;)

  34. blake December 19th, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    That entire lineup would be in decline except Cano and maybe Garnder….and the rotation is CC and pray…..

  35. tomingeorgia December 19th, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    As an “out-market” Yankee fan since 1952 (grew up there, through the 1990s, though), and someone who doesn’t know some of these prospects from Joe Doaks, I’m neither optimistic or pessimistic, but I’m in awe of you folks investing so much time here hashing out minutiae. Keep it up, even though there’re are only about six of you.

    Youk will be an asset, Ichiru will be fine, too. I’ll start talking when Spring Training starts, if the Lord gives me the time.

  36. blake December 19th, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    @DKnobler: Angels realized they couldn’t get a better pitcher for Morales. They didn’t want to move Bourjos or Trumbo.

    They could have gotten Hughes from Chip :)

  37. Against All Odds December 19th, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    “2014 Yankees: tex, cano, jeter, cervelli, arod, ichiro, gardner and cc, nova, phelps, warren, pineda and robertson .”

    ———————-

    Hello 4th or 5th place

  38. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    we’ve known for quite a while that they are in decline, but there’s no changing that.

    im just musing about what next year is going to look like b/c it seems pretty certain that’s going to be the case. unless they can move tex’s or cc’s contract or arod or jeter retire, that’s where we’re headed.

    the need to get something for granderson and cano now if they aren’t gonna be here next season.

  39. MTU December 19th, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    The only thing Vargas does well is throw left-handed.

    Think the M’s got the better end of that deal.

    ;)

  40. Against All Odds December 19th, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I could see them moving sometime next yr.

  41. blake December 19th, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    “the need to get something for granderson and cano now if they aren’t gonna be here next season.”

    Yea but they wont

  42. Against All Odds December 19th, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    moving Montero*

  43. austinmac December 19th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    My main recollection of Vargas is being glad he was pitching and not Felix. Why is it we never seem to miss Felix, Verlander and the like?

  44. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    if they can move cc they have to do it.

  45. blake December 19th, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    The most noticeable thing about Vargas is how much he looks like Ramiero Pena

  46. austinmac December 19th, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Tom,

    Do you prefer gun control discussions?

  47. blake December 19th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Ys Guy says:
    December 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm
    if they can move cc they have to do it.

    Why would they do that?

  48. tomingeorgia December 19th, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    austin,
    Nope. I’ve got mine, and stuff to put in them, too. I hope the Yanks do the right thing, though, even though I’m not sure what that is, as some of you are. Beats the hell out of me.

  49. The Return of Stoneburner December 19th, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Wow – my Tyler Austin as Mike Olt 2.0 prediction was based more on the bat – but now it is potentially looking more 1:1 possibly – - – -

  50. Nick in SF December 19th, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    They just extended CC a year ago. Maybe they want to keep him.

  51. blake December 19th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    @DCameronFG: Short version – Reasonable swap with chance for real upgrade if they bring in a decent MLB starter to replace Vargas.

    Nova for Montero!

  52. The Return of Stoneburner December 19th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Now if my Angelo Gumbs to SS game changer could become realistic – - – -

  53. G. Love December 19th, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    So then why come here at all? To belittle the “6 people” who are talking to one another here? That makes you feel good.

    The subtle bullying from the so-called “positive posters” who take every shot they can to put down the posters who like to talk about team construction, transactions, player potential and off season plans is the most insipid nonsense that goes on here.

    Hooray. You don’t care what the Yankees do. We do. You win. Happy now?

  54. RayVT December 19th, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    The Return of Stoneburner December 19th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    And Nunez to RF would be nice! Has Gumbs played SS before?

  55. The Return of Stoneburner December 19th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    The Return of Stoneburner December 19th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    And Nunez to RF would be nice! Has Gumbs played SS before?

    ****

    He played 1 game at SS last season – but hey – he is supposed to be a good athlete and BA has him ranked top 10 I think – just throwing it out there – maybe it comes true – but before this article by Chad – I did not think 3b was an option anymore for Austin – - – -

  56. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    i left nunez off the list of 2014 players

  57. blake December 19th, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    @JonHeymanCBS: Ichiro $13M 2-yr deal with #yankees all done, pending physical

  58. The Return of Stoneburner December 19th, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    One GM pointed out that teams aren’t “wild about giving up a draft pick for a reliever,” even though Rafael Soriano is a good pitcher. The Yankees almost certainly won’t consider taking him back, according to Olney.
    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#EMv4BzhEosdUVqce.99

  59. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    THERE IT IS! the 13th consecutive day that the ichiro deal was ‘done.’

    they’ll be dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s until mid january though…

  60. The Return of Stoneburner December 19th, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    THERE IT IS! the 13th consecutive day that the ichiro deal was ‘done.’

    they’ll be dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s until mid january though…

    *****

    This is nothing compared to Napoli Watch 2012 – - – -

  61. Ys Guy December 19th, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    idk how great signing ichiro is as much as i like him. but at least if they bring up ‘the kids’ to fill out the roster next year, they’ll be surrounded by jeter, arod, tex and ichiro to show them how to be yankees.

  62. jacksquat December 19th, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    blake December 19th, 2012 at 5:49 pm
    @DCameronFG: Short version – Reasonable swap with chance for real upgrade if they bring in a decent MLB starter to replace Vargas.

    Nova for Montero!

    Ha, I was just thinking that as I read about the trade.

    But Montero/Jaso is probably their catching platoon until Zunino is ready. I’d guess they will start Zunino is the minors, he only had 57 pa at AA in 2012.

  63. jacksquat December 19th, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Vargas did have a pretty good year, 3.83 ERA, 33 starts, 14-11 for not such a good team.

    Seattle did pretty well though. Seems like the only way they can get hitters there unless they want to pay a lot.

  64. austinmac December 19th, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Tom,

    I’m glad you have yours and the stuff to put in them just in case whoever you are ready for comes.

  65. blake December 19th, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    @Buster_ESPN: It’s hard to view the acquisition of Kendrys Morales as anything other than a Mariners’ shift away from Justin Smoak. http://t.co/xqTMEyJ9

  66. blake December 19th, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    @Ken_Rosenthal: Source: #Cubs close on Villanueva. Agreement in place, according to @JonHeymanCBS.

  67. tomingeorgia December 19th, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    G. Love,
    I tried to respond to you earlier but apparently the gerbils powering my internet died. I come here for opinions from those who have, or purport to, have greater knowledge than I do about prospects and trade targets. I said in my last post that I am in awe of those who know all, and and, and are willing to post it. I’ve been watching the Yanks for better than 60 years, and I guess I;ll stay a fan. As I said, I’m in awe of Yankee fandom,, so do you mind if I stick around?


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