Tyler Austin has reportedly been in Tampa this week working on making himself more versatile for the New York Yankees.
Austin, 25, is reportedly getting reps at first base, third base and in the outfield.
Last season, New York’s 13th round pick from the 2010 amateur draft played in 27 games at first and five in the outfield. Over his five-year minor league career, he has played in 119 games at first, 35 at third, 19 games in left and 300 in right.
While he could give Greg Bird a run for his money for the first base position in Spring Training, Austin’s ability to be tossed around the diamond will continue to be invaluable for a young Yankees’ team.
Whether it’s at DH, first, right field, left field or third base, that trait will prove to be propitious for Bird (who’s recovering from shoulder surgery) Aaron Judge (who still needs adjustments), Gary Sanchez and more.
In addition to working on his usefulness at multiple positions, Austin has reportedly been “bombing” the ball during batting practice, an observer told Boland.
Over 90 plate appearances following his call-up to the Bronx on August 13, 2016, Austin hit five home runs and drove in 12 RBI’s — a 26 HR/62 RBI total when proportioned to 162 games.
Additionally, all of his homers were driven the opposite field while he also displayed an excellent clutch gene (highest FanGraphs clutch rating among Yankees hitters) and went 6-for-12 (.500) with two home runs over his last five games.