Heritage grad Austin battling through injury-plagued season

It's been an interesting month for Tyler Austin. The former Heritage star, now playing for the Single-A Tampa Yankees, missed more than three weeks with an ankle injury before returning to the Tampa lineup July 25. After going 0-for-3 in Tampa's win over Lakeland, Austin went 6-for-15 in a four-game series against Palm Beach.

But the injury bug hit the 20-year-old again in the final game of the series Sunday.

After singling and doubling in his first two at bats, Austin, playing right field in the third inning, was injured on a play in the outfield.

Unlike his previous injuries, Austin was back in the Yankees lineup Monday, going 0-for-5 with a run scored after reaching on a fielder's choice.

Despite the month long injury problems (Austin missed the Futures Game during Major League Baseball's all-star week after being hit in the head by a pitch in one his last games with low-A Charleston), it's been a productive season in the New York Yankees organization for the Conyers native.

Austin, a 2010 draft pick out of Heritage, hit .320 with 14 home runs and 54 RBIs, a .405 on-base percentage and .598 slugging percentage for Charleston, which earned him a spot on United States team for the prestigious Futures Game.

He was quickly promoted to Tampa, but played in just one game -- July 3 against Dunedin -- before the ankle injury.

In his seven games in Advanced-A, Austin is hitting .240 with a double, a triple and three RBIs. He's scored four runs and stolen a base.