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Austin improving at the plate for Trenton

TRENTON, N.J. -- Tyler Austin, in his second season playing with the Double-A Trenton Thunder of the New York Yankees organization, seems to have broken out of an early-season hitting slump.

Though the Heritage High School graduate has raised his batting average to .253 (23-for-91) through the games of April 30, the 21-year-old has contributed even more without taking his bat off his shoulder. After walking just four times in his first 12 games, Austin has drawn 16 walks in his last 12 games. It's helped Austin, in his fourth year in the Yankees organization after being drafted in the 13th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, raise his on-base percentage to .387.

Austin, a right fielder, came into the season ranked by mlb.com as the No. 3 prospect in the Yankees organization after a breakout 2012 season in which he hit .322 with 17 home runs and 80 RBIs in 110 games.

He got off to a slow start this month, collecting just 12 hits in his first 51 at bats. Austin's turnaround began, in large part, in a series against Erie on April 18 through 21 where he reached base 11 times in 17 plate appearances.

Trenton played New Hampshire on Wednesday in a game that ended too late for this edition.