Saturday, June 9, 2012
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Add one more achievement to Tyler Austin's growing list of accomplishments in the game of the baseball: minor league all-star.
The former Heritage star was named a South Atlantic League all-star this week, representing the Charleston RiverDogs, the Single-A affiliate of the New York Yankees.
Austin is certainly worthy of the honor. In 56 games through June 7, the 20-year old was hitting .330 (leading the team with 72 hits in 218 at bats) and also had team-highs in home runs (14), RBIs (50) and doubles (19).
Austin will be joined by several of his Charleston teammates as catchers Gary Sanchez, the leading vote getter, and Francisco Arcia and right-handed pitchers Pedro Guerra and Bryan Mitchell will play for the South Division team. The quintet will have a familiar coaching staff in the dugout as Charleston will also be represented by manager Carlos Mendoza, coaches Greg Colbrunn, Brian Baisley and Danny Borrell, and athletic trainer Jorge Vargas.
"Once again, the amount of talent that will be showcased in this game will be incredible," said Sally League president Eric Krupa.
It's been quite a rise for Austin, who's in just his second full season in the Yankees organization. A 13th-round selection (415th overall) in the 2010 draft out of Heritage, Austin missed nearly the entire 2010 minor league season with a hand injury, but came back strong in 2011. Splitting time between the Gulf Coast League Yankees and the short-season Staten Island Yankees, he hit .354 with a .418 on-base percentage and 36 RBIs. He moved up another level to Charleston to start this season and has become one of New York's highest-rated prospects.
The players and coaches will have an added bonus as Charleston will host the game at Joseph P. Riley Park, June 19.