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Article: What's the Plan with Tyler Austin?

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#21 rdehring

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 07:06 AM

Another good article, Nick, and great discussion/read.

 

I expect what often happens in 'waiver' situations is that lots of teams put in claims, heck, why not on proven quality players...which Cron is.They were then surprised when they were awarded the player, Cron.Is picking up a player with both a track record and some talent a problem?I think not. 

 

They now have the winter and spring to decide how to sort this all out.Heck, Cron has already delivered one benefit, ie, the 40-man roster is full and they won't be doing anything in the Rule 5 on Thursday.That in itself is good news!  

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#22 woolywoolhouse

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 07:11 AM

Last year with Mauer set to start at first the Twins signed a left-handed bat from Tampa Bay after he had a career year at the plate.

This upcoming season, they have Austin ready to take over and start at first and they sign a right-handed bat from Tampa Bay after he had a career year...

Is there a glitch in the Matrix?
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#23 HrbieFan

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 07:11 AM

Can Austin be sent down to work on that swing? We are already a low OPS team, only way he gets 300+ ABs is if Sano and Cron are horrible.
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#24 Riverbrian

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 07:35 AM

 

The homeruns are nice but a guy that K's 36% of the time and doesn't have a position in the field.....

He only played a few games in the outfield after 2015. Maybe the Yankees saw something when he did?

 

Maybe... I have never been to Trenton or Scranton to witness Austin in the OF myself. 

 

However, the path of least resistance in the Yankees organization was clearly 1B. 

 

It makes sense on paper to move a player from OF to 1B in their context. 

 

Leaving the questions:

 

1. How much was defense a part of that decision to 1B. (I sure wish the Twins would have gave him some OF starts in September). 

 

2. Was the Twins not playing him in the OF a clue to his ability or was it just the Twins being the Twins, locking players into static roles and not being able to deviate from it, like they have consistently done. 

 

3. Why didn't he win the Yankees 1B job. It wasn't like the Yankees had anyone holding it with both hands. 

 

 

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#25 Thrylos

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 07:56 AM

Austin was traded on July 30th.In the following 56 games he appeared in 35, including 12 starts at 1B and 21 at DH. He was in the minors for a week before Morrison went down and he was recalled.So he appeared in about 70% of the games he was in the majors.Molitor missed the chance to use him more, and he made some silly choices in those games, including starting Adrianza and Gimenez at 1B twice and Garver once with Austin out of the lineup.

 

So that one is on Molitor.

 

The Twins front office did well with signing the arbitration eligible Cron to a contract that is pretty much disposable at ST.The more competition the better, and with the ousting of Grossman, there is room for both Cron and Austin in the lineup. Austin can play RF as well.He has 339 games (2841-1/3 innings) at the OF (mostly RF and mostly in the minors) with 11 cumulative errors and 30 assists.For comparison's purpose Grossman in the minors played 726 OF games (6194 innings, mostly LF) with 22 errors and 40 assists. Their gloves are comparable with Austin having a better arm. I see him play OF considerably this ST...

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#26 IndianaTwin

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 08:09 AM

Hmm...

 

Nelson Cruz (through age 26)

145 games, 478 PA, .231/.282/.385, OPS+ 72, 119K, 30BB, no defensive value

 

Tyler Austin (through age 26)

120 games, 404 PA, .232/.290/.469, OPS+ 100, 148K, 30BB, no defensive value

 

Cruz spent most of his age 27 season in the minors, but came up in August and was great for 31 games on the way to becoming the ongoing monster that now has 360 career HRs.

 

I'm not saying Austin is the second coming of Nelson Cruz, but those numbers put an interesting spin on the conversation for me. 

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#27 Thrylos

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 08:22 AM

 

Hmm...

 

Nelson Cruz (through age 26)

145 games, 478 PA, .231/.282/.385, OPS+ 72, 119K, 30BB, no defensive value

 

Tyler Austin (through age 26)

120 games, 404 PA, .232/.290/.469, OPS+ 100, 148K, 30BB, no defensive value

 

Cruz spent most of his age 27 season in the minors, but came up in August and was great for 31 games on the way to becoming the ongoing monster that now has 360 career HRs.

 

I'm not saying Austin is the second coming of Nelson Cruz, but those numbers put an interesting spin on the conversation for me. 

 

Hope that Austin does not get a 50-game suspension for being a Biogenesis client like Cruz did...

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#28 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 09:00 AM

I dug through the bbref pages to pull up the platoon splits for Austin, Cron, Cave and Cruz, including their minors numbers (but not Cruz' minors; plenty to go on from his MLB resume).Here are the results, which were somewhat surprising to me:

 

Player PA vs RHP OPS vs RHP PA vs LHP OPS vs LHP

Austin 2144 .....834.... 927... .811

Cron 2716... .790...1030 ....833

Cave 2355....815... 836... .632

Cruz4651....835.... 1767 ... .927

 

So Cruz, unsurprisingly, is the best player of the four, regardless of the starting pitcher.Signing him should help the team, depending, of course, on how much he declines.Note that Cruz OPSed over 850 in two of the past three years versus right handers.

 

The second most valuable player from that group, in my view, is Austin.He has hit RHP just as well as Nelson Cruz over his career!

 

Cave looks like the third most valuable, with an OPS north of 800 against RHP, which is more than 70% of the ABs.Of course, as a lefty with Kepler and Rosario, he doesn't have a good path to ABs in the OF, and he doesn't hit righties better than Austin or Cruz, either.And he is terrible versus lefties.

 

Cron looks weakest from this group.Sure, he mashes lefties, but not much more than Austin, and definitely not more than Cruz. 

Edited by AlwaysinModeration, 12 December 2018 - 09:02 AM.

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#29 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 09:02 AM

Sorry for the weird formatting.In any event, the narrative that Austin can only hit LHP is based on his MLB numbers, which is a small sample, and is incorrect when you add in his minor league stats.

 

So, in answer to the question, what do you do about Austin, I say "keep him!"He can play 1B full-time, or DH, or even play some OF.Even if they sign Cruz, I think there is plenty of reason to keep Austin around.(And don't forget, they gave up Lynn to get him.)

Edited by AlwaysinModeration, 12 December 2018 - 09:07 AM.

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#30 Mike Sixel

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 09:04 AM

 

Can Austin be sent down to work on that swing? We are already a low OPS team, only way he gets 300+ ABs is if Sano and Cron are horrible.

 

Only if he clears waivers, he's out of options. Then, when you call him up, and try to send him down later in the year, he can be claimed. It's the issue with trading for guys with no options, that you aren't sure are good or not.

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It's IL now, btw, not DL.....


#31 Thrylos

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 09:14 AM

 

Only if he clears waivers, he's out of options. Then, when you call him up, and try to send him down later in the year, he can be claimed. It's the issue with trading for guys with no options, that you aren't sure are good or not.

 

He had options when they traded for him.Molitor just sat him longer than he should have had...

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#32 Mike Sixel

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 09:18 AM

 

He had options when they traded for him.Molitor just sat him longer than he should have had...

 

Not really relevant now. He had one last year, and they weren't sending him down last year. Or am I misunderstanding something? 

It's IL now, btw, not DL.....


#33 Dman

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 09:27 AM

 

If I were GM, I'm keeping Tyler Austin. We have POTENTIAL options with Rooker/Wiel, but if Wiel is truly a good option he will get picked in the rule V draft thursday. Tyler Austin has homered 1 out of 15 AB's and at 400 AB's that's a 30 HR pace. Only 8 players in MLB in 2018 had a better HR/AB pace. 

 

CJ Cron has not been much better in terms of OPS and owns a 26% K rate as well. He also has not been much better v RHP. The difference between RHP and LHP for Austin was .130 different in 2018, while Cron had an .160 OPS drop off vs RHP.

 

Austin is a younger version of Cron for 4 million less, and has 2 more years of control. 

If the Twins are able to sign Cruz I would move on from the Cron experiment and put Austin at 1st and platoon him with Kepler. That way Kepler can play almost everyday and Jake Cave will get in the lineup a lot more vs RHP. It's a Win win.

 

 

VS RHP

 

1B Kepler RF Cave

 

Vs LHP 

 

1B Austin RF Kepler

 

Yeah when I mentioned Wiel it was a bit of a stretch as I don't think he showed the home run power Austin has and he really just has last year at AA as an impressive season.His OPS was very good in AA and his 51 at bats in AAA show he may have a ways to go. There is a reason he wasn't added to the 40 man.The thing that I liked about him though was the K and walk rate.He seems like he might have a better eye at the plate and that typically bodes well for MLB success.

 

I think he would be a tough rule 5 pick as a team would have to sacrifice a bench spot to a pretty none versatile player.Also he hasn't proven he can master even AAA pitching just yet and he isn't a young player, so it would be a gamble for some team to select him but someone might do it.The signs for success are there but I think most teams would prefer to invest in more versatile bench players.

 

Rooker is the player more comparable to Austin. Their power is similar as is their K rate.Rooker has less experience but would have options and Austin didn't light the world on fire last year. I like his potential but with Cron, Garver, Austudillo, and others somebody is going to have to go and I think it will be Austin but we'll see.

Edited by Dman, 12 December 2018 - 09:29 AM.

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#34 Nick Nelson

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 09:34 AM

 

Nick, 

 

I love ya but C'mon... we can't go around quoting splits based on 242 AB's vs. Righties and 125 AB'svs. lefties over two seasons of sporadic playing time and make it mean something because it's the only data we have.

 

This is completely unfair to the player because everybody else gets to at least get closer to critical mass. 

 

I know you are trying to support him and I'm right there with ya with support for him myself but trying to salvage his value by turning him into a left handed specialist will only hasten his departure. 

I'm not sure what you're saying here RB. I'm using the data we have, which jibes with what I've seen. Austin has been a good hitter in the majors, was a very good hitter in the minors. Given that he just turned 27 and has only had the opportunity to play sporadically, I see room for growth yet. Finding him a role where he can maximize ABs against LHP seems like the best way to get him on the roster, derive immediate value, and gradually find him more playing time if he hits.

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#35 Riverbrian

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 09:45 AM

Hmm...

Nelson Cruz (through age 26)
145 games, 478 PA, .231/.282/.385, OPS+ 72, 119K, 30BB, no defensive value

Tyler Austin (through age 26)
120 games, 404 PA, .232/.290/.469, OPS+ 100, 148K, 30BB, no defensive value

Cruz spent most of his age 27 season in the minors, but came up in August and was great for 31 games on the way to becoming the ongoing monster that now has 360 career HRs.

I'm not saying Austin is the second coming of Nelson Cruz, but those numbers put an interesting spin on the conversation for me.



Exactly

Great post. The Book has not been written on Tyler Austin. Will he get a chance will determine how the story goes.
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#36 Puckett34

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 09:45 AM

Does Austin have any option years left? I don't think he does, but that could be a factor if he does have any left

Hit dingers.  Never bunt.


#37 Mike Sixel

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 09:51 AM

Does Austin have any option years left? I don't think he does, but that could be a factor if he does have any left


No. Discussed above.

It's IL now, btw, not DL.....


#38 Riverbrian

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 10:01 AM

I'm not sure what you're saying here RB. I'm using the data we have, which jibes with what I've seen. Austin has been a good hitter in the majors, was a very good hitter in the minors. Given that he just turned 27 and has only had the opportunity to play sporadically, I see room for growth yet. Finding him a role where he can maximize ABs against LHP seems like the best way to get him on the roster, derive immediate value, and gradually find him more playing time if he hits.

It’s too soon and not enough stable data to drop him into the short end of a platoon. Trying to protect him against right handlers won’t help him. It will kill him because if he isn’t allowed to stabilize his right handed numbers he wont have a career.

I’d like to keep him and play him and see if he can hit 40 homers with 500 Ab’s And you are right Cron and Cruz are going to be complications for keeping him.

Unless he can be moved back to the OF to separate himself from the power hitting 1B/DH puppy mill that is spitting out Crons and Bours.

I agree with what you are saying in a broad sense. Just specifically strongly disagree that his stats suggest anything yet and definitely don’t want to consider the short end of a platoon because he gets branded too early.

It’s all good.
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#39 Puckett34

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 10:09 AM

 

No. Discussed above.

Sorry. Missed it. 

Hit dingers.  Never bunt.


#40 Vanimal46

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 10:14 AM

This sums up my thoughts on the subject.

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