Scouting Report: OF, Austin Krum

Krum brings great intensity to the field

The New York Yankees selected outfielder Austin Krum in the ninth round of the 2007 MLB Draft out Dallas Baptist University. He has quietly garnered attention inside the organization for his defensive versatility, offensive table setting, and overall tenacity.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Austin Krum
Position: Outfield
DOB: January 19, 1986
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 190
Bats: Left
Throws: Left

He hit just .249 between high-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton in 2009, but he did manage to draw 71 walks, steal 18 bases, and collect 31 extra-base hits.

"I thought it was a positive year," Krum said. "I started out in Tampa and played pretty well. That team was pretty good and was actually really good at the end of the year. I just tried to do whatever I could for them. Luckily I got the call to go to Trenton.

"When I first got to Trenton, even though my numbers were not very good at all, I thought I was doing some good things, putting some good swings on the ball and it just took a while for the numbers to pan out.

"Other than that, anytime you can get moved up, it's a positive, especially halfway through the year. I'm pretty happy with how I ended."

Ending his minor league stints has never really been a problem for him over his career though, but getting off to slow starts has been a consistent sore spot.

Like good friend and former teammate Brandon Laird, Krum, who hit just .200 before the All-Star break in Trenton, is a notoriously slow starter.

"Me and [Brandon] Laird talked about that at the beginning of the year and the same thing happened to us in Charleston [two years ago]," he said. "We both got off to slow starts and then kind of caught fire towards the middle and the end of the year.

"I don't know what it is because with both us, I feel like we're both pretty prepared for Spring Training, we both take a lot of swings, and take a lot of reps. I'm not sure what it is."

One of the more intense players in the organization though, perhaps his slow starts each year are due to putting too much pressure on himself.

"I'm kind of my biggest critic," he opined. "I enjoy the pressure but sometimes I can get too intense and I get carried away with being in the moment too much. Not trying too hard, but just going at everything 100 percent and going full-speed all of the time, sometimes that can get you into trouble.

"Sometimes you need to be relaxed but that's part of my game that I'm pretty proud of, just turning it on for my team and be that relentless guy in the clubhouse and out on the field."

His strongest attribute is also his biggest weakness sometimes, but it's that kind of tenacity that makes him such a valuable defensive player in the field and such a tough out atop the lineup.

"For me I like to think of myself as more of a table setter for the Jesus Monteros and Brandon Lairds out there," he said of his game. "The big numbers I look for myself are my on-base percentage and how many times I walk.

"Those were pretty good at both levels and the year overall I felt I got on base a lot and made some things happen for some guys. When you can do that and score some runs, that's huge for your team."

Realizing his own limitations, going forward Krum knows how he can best help the big league club in the future and he has a good idea of how to improve his game to get there.

"I feel like I do make adjustments but you can always be faster making adjustments and when you're at the higher levels, if guys can figure out what they can get out with, they'll be relentless in their pursuit to do that.

"As a hitter you need to be able to make adjustments on the fly, game to game and even pitch to pitch, to try to be as hard to pitch to as possible."

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2009 Trenton .234 290 14 2 24 43 11 36 68 .321 .338
2009 Tampa .272 191 7 0 14 32 7 35 43 .395 .340
2008 Charleston .272 459 21 8 67 74 12 55 92 .356 .397
2007 Staten Island .238 202 14 1 22 32 11 16 44 .305 .361


Batting and Power. Krum has all of the basics to be a .300 hitter - plus patience, good pitch recognition, selectivity, good bat speed, and an ability to use the whole field. However, just a .257 hitter over his career, his greatest strength [his intensity] does work against him in the batter's box. He will often times take bad previous at-bats with him into the next one and that can snowball into a prolonged slump, and that will also cause him to abandon his offensive approach of going to the opposite field prematurely. He has good gap power, but he isn't much of a home run hitter and his power is more of the doubles and triples variety.

Base Running and Speed. Krum is a slightly above average runner overall, but he makes more of an impact on the base paths with a good first step, an aggressive approach, and all-out hustle. He is starting to learn pitcher's moves better and that has helped his success percentage. With his ability to get on base, he should be a consistent 20+ stolen base threat. Where he makes more of an impact though is in situational running, taking the extra base whenever he can.

Defense. Krum is a plus defensive player across the board. He has the ability to play all three outfield positions well, showing good range, especially at the corners, and his above average arm strength is a plus tool in centerfield. He is a true ball-hawk with his relentless intensity, the kind of player who would run through a wall to make a play.

Projection. Krum - with his ability to play all three outfield positions very well, ability to draw walks, lay down a bunt, and steal some bases - is a tailor-made big league reserve outfielder. Throw in his overall hustle and winning attitude, he is the perfect bench player. His lack of home run power right now will most likely limit him to such a role with the Yankees. Easing up on the intensity at the right times and becoming the more consistent contact hitter scouts believe he can be would go a long way towards fulfilling that projection.

ETA. 2011. Krum should open up the 2010 season back in Double-A Trenton and there's a chance he could some time at Triple-A Scranton by the end of the year.

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