Austin Picking It Up

Austin is hitting .377 in his last 15 games

TRENTON, NJ – Trenton Thunder outfielder Tyler Austin was off to a mediocre start to begin the 2014 season. Following a torrid month of July at the plate, he is beginning to show the New York Yankees organization he is the player they had hoped for.

After starting his professional career back in 2010, Austin is a month away from wrapping up his second full season in Double-A Trenton. It has been a bit of a bumpy ride this year, but Austin has finally found his groove offensively.

In 27 games in the month of July, Austin accumulated 31 hits which is good for an average of .301 during that span. Also during July, Austin’s on-base percentage was .342 and he had his highest monthly runs batted in total of 15.

Austin has always had a solid approach at the plate, however, and has always felt confident. It was just a matter time before he finally broke out.

“I have not made too many adjustments, just swinging at better pitches and getting lucky I guess,” Austin saod. “I never really lost confidence at the plate and I always feel good when I step in the box.”

Austin had dealt with a wrist injury that hindered his performance early on, but Austin never used that as an excuse. Now that he is fully healthy, he has shown he is the player the Yankees believed they had selected back in 2010.

“Being healthy is a part of it, but for me the biggest thing is swinging at good pitches,” he said. “When you swing at good pitches you give yourself a much better chance to hit.”

Hitting a ridiculous .377 with 11 RBIs in 15 games since the All Star break, Austin’s health has indeed played a big role in his success this year, but not as much as the hard work he has put in on a daily basis to get to this point. Trenton Manager Tony Franklin has recognized the work ethic and dedication from Austin.

“He has put in a lot of work to get this streak going and it has really paid off,” Franklin said. “He is starting to hit with some extension and is showing more power. As a corner outfielder you need to hit with some power and he is starting to do that.”

One man in particular who has directly helped Austin lately has been hitting coach Marcus Thames. Thames realized the problems Austin was having early on and has helped him make the necessary adjustments.

“He started off a little slow, but he has been trying to get his swing path to where it needs to be by staying through the middle of the field,” Thames said. “He is a gap to gap guy who is not going to hit 30-35 homeruns, but he has to give himself a chance by staying through the middle of the diamond which will allow him to square more balls up.”

The Trenton hitting coach has spent numerous hours in the cage with Austin trying to fix anything that may have been going wrong. Thames attributed Austin’s recent success to his great work ethic and determination to always get better.

“He has come a long way in the past couple of months or so and his hard work is paying off,” Thames season. “In this last month of the season, he needs to keep grinding and keep that swing path and hopefully his confidence levels stay high and he can finish up very well.”

It is no secret about the success Austin has had lately, as all levels within the organization are aware of it. With a month left, it does not appear to be likely at this point, but there always is a possibility of him getting a chance in Triple-A.

When asked about the possibility of going to Triple-A by the end of the year, Austin mentioned that it is not something he has thought about.

“I am not really looking forward to that,” Austin said. “I don’t really want to put getting called up in front of us trying to win games here because that is the most important thing.”

Coach Franklin did not state whether or not he felt Austin was ready to be called up to Triple-A, but he is happy with the performance Austin has put out here in Double-A and that time will tell.

“The decision will be made at some point and when they make those decisions, it is all geared towards what is best for the player,” Franklin said. “There is no need to rush a young man who is starting to have some success, so we will see what happens at the end of the season.”

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