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  1. So what your saying is the HR really don’t impress you but your concern with the K to BB ratio?.. Ok.. maybe its me, but have you seen this kid play?.. I live in SC where the Riverdogs play and until you see what we all see down here, as the saying goes, seeing is believeing.. This kid is not only gifted but Mature beyond most kids playing in A ball. Did you know he was a cancer vitcim and over came this?.. In single A ball most pitchers are not allowed to throw curve balls due to the strain on the elbow. Maybe your right, he might not fair well to an offspeed pitch but when he hits it, SEE YA!!.. LONG GONE. No one really can predict the outcome of what a prospect can achieve. if so, I hate to think what you guys might have thought about Donnie Baseball.. I suggest, come out to the ball park and see for youself what this kid is made of before the Tampa Yankees call him up after the ASL June 16th All star game. Then lets you and I have a chat about his potential!..

    Comment by SicilianLou — May 21, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

  2. Mike Newman is a professional scout that has been watching games in Charleston all year. And what does Don Mattingly have to do with anything?

    Comment by Brian S. — May 21, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

  3. Lou,

    I too have seen him play, and I think Newman nails it in his analysis above… just saying…

    Comment by Brian — May 21, 2012 @ 4:33 pm

  4. I find it is usually best to just ignore folks whose grasp of spelling and grammar pale in comparison to a middle school student. Once Lou can get some basic writing skills down then we can talk about baseball analysis.

    Comment by Steve — May 21, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

  5. What does Mattingly have to do with his?..I heard the same knock about Mattingly as Mike is saying about Taylor. Not enough speed to play the OF, not athletic enough to make it as a full time player. The one thing that stats dont meassure is the drive and determination a person has to succeed. Given Tyler’s ability to overcome his past illness and continue to devote his life to playing a game he loves tells me, he is miles ahead of the curve than most are at his level. I hope this answers your question?.

    Comment by SicilianLou — May 21, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

  6. Brian.. Opinions vary.. I think a talent like Tyler you simply find a postion that helps the parent club win.. And if Mikes opinion is the kid is not fast enough to play the OF that’s fine. But there are plenty of ML OF today who dont have speed playing the OF and are playing becasue they can hit. Not ever prospect will have 5 tools. Tylers gift may not be speed but what he has between his ears will get him far in the ML one day..

    Comment by SicilianLou — May 21, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

  7. SicilianLou,

    I do go to the park… quite a bit actually and this is the 4th season I’ve been doing so. The video accompanying the piece was taking by me when watching Austin in person. If you are not familiar with my work in general, I really don’t write or discuss players I haven’t seen personally.

    To answer your questions… Yes, I did know Austin was a cancer survivor which makes his story that much more interesting. What’s also interesting is that your defense of Austin revolves around his bat and being mature for his age which I touch on as positives. I also compare him to Ludwick who has a career 109 wRC+ which leaves him an above average MLB hitter for his career. That IS considering Austin a future big leaguer at a level in which 98% of guys never make it.

    I think the disconnect comes from the expectation that all good prospects become stars which is simply not the case. To project Austin as a quality big leaguer at this point is huge praise, but I’m not about to call him a star level player at this point in time. His projection simply does not support it.

    Comment by Mike Newman — May 21, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

  8. Brian S.,

    Thanks for the defense, but let me be clear that I’m not a professional scout. I’ve been in and around the game most of my life and have been fortunate the past 3-4 years to have made some connections in the industry who have supported me and helped me improve a great deal. So while I’m not a professional scout, I do feel the information provided to readers is similar to what a scout would write.

    Comment by Mike Newman — May 21, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

  9. Lou, Ryan Ludwick had an ALL-STAR season at the MLB level and was a starter for four-plus seasons where he hit 103 home runs and averaged 20+ home runs per season during that time.

    Plus, I grew up in NYC during Mattingly’s prime years. Comping Austin to Mattingly simply holds no weight. At 19 in the Sally, Mattingly batted .358/.422/.498 and struck out only 33 times in 569 plate appearances. Austin has struck out 40 times in 30% of the plate appearances and is a year older.

    Comment by Mike Newman — May 21, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

  10. SicilianLou,

    I think you might want to take a deep breath, count to 10, and give the piece a second read. You are literally misinterpreting every point I’ve tried to make in this piece.

    Comment by Mike Newman — May 21, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

  11. It is amazing how little Tyler Austin’s head moves when he swings, one of the obvious keys to his success so far. Also uses his lower half well, which helps generate that power. I have no issues with him having the same swing on every pitch, it shows consistency, which is what you want for all hitters. Similar to how Michael Young of Texas hits, same swing every time. I also like the catcher’s reaction after one of Austin’s hits. He just stays in his crouch, then glances over to the dugout as if to ask “how do we get this guy out?”

    Comment by Samuel — May 21, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

  12. Great breakdown Mike. His hands are very impressive as you mentioned. They give him seemingly effortless bat speed and explosion. His short stride allows him to keep his eyes on one even plane leading to a lot of hard contact. I think more advanced pitchers will start to crowd him with Fastballs & Sinkers running in on his hands since he clearly likes to extend his arms and drive to all fields. However, he looks like he has the flexability/ability to clear his hips and turn on pitches if he’s being attacked that way.

    Now that his reputation is getting around, it will be interesting to see how he adjusts to more breaking pitches. I interviewed Tyler about 2 weeks ago and he mentioned pitchers had already changed their approach against him with more offspeed stuff in fastball counts. If anyone’s interested, here’s that interview:

    Comment by fishjam25 — May 22, 2012 @ 7:54 am

  13. Samuel,

    I think you are mistaking repeatable hitting mechanics with the one plane swing I describe. Mike Young is able to make adjustments mid-pitch and handle breaking balls away, fastballs up, etc. No player has an outside shot at 3,000 hits without an uncanny ability for bat control. Austin with a bit of a one plane swing means he doesn’t really adjust the bat head for contact. If a pitcher throws something in his wheelhouse, he’s going to mash it. If not, he will struggle to fight it off at this point.

    Comment by Mike Newman — May 22, 2012 @ 8:23 am

  14. I watched the video last and I’m a little less worried about the swing than I expected based on the report. He really lets the ball travel and has the bat speed that allows that. He doesn’t have some grooved uppercut of a swing, instead lining a lot of balls off that plane, which makes me more sanguine that the contact ability is legit. Gets his front foot down early, clears his hips correctly, doesn’t get caught out front. Your point is taken, and I don’t think he’s a hitting prodigy, but there’s more to like with the swing than not. I think Ludwick is a very reasonable comp, though Austin could peak earlier and longer and it’s doubtful that he’ll be as good a defender as Ludwick who plays above his tools thanks to great instincts and routes.

    Comment by E-Dub — May 22, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

  15. No disrespect at all, but even professional scouts, which Mr. Newman is admittedly not, really have no idea whether a kid will turn into a major league star or not. Especially A ball players. They give it their best educated guess. But that is all it is. Trust me when I say their projections are off well over half the time.

    So take it with a grain of salt. It’s far from an exact science.

    Comment by Ken Hauser — August 2, 2012 @ 11:15 am

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