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Saturday, June 24, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: TYLER AUSTIN 1B NEW YORK YANKEES

Apparently the New York Yankees had seen enough of all-or-nothing slugging veteran Chris Carter, having made the decision late Friday to DFA the 2016 40-homer man in favor of promoting first base prospect Tyler Austin.  The last time we saw Austin. he had his spring training and chances of making the Yankees derailed due to a broken foot and he only recently made it back at Triple-A where he took part in 26 games before the call from the big league team.  In those 26 games, Austin hit .292 with 4 home runs in 107 at-bats; while also playing very good defense.  Meanwhile Carter was simply an abomination on both sides of the ball and so the DFA was no surprise.  With Greg Bird still showing no signs of coming back from his ankle injury, Austin has a chance to stake his claim to the first base job and allow the Yanks not to go the trade route in July.

Now in terms of what Austin can bring to the fantasy baseball table, he had a nice run at Triple-A last season when he hit 13 home runs and batted .323 to put himself back on the prospect map after some years of struggle.  While Austin does draw walks, he also strikes out a bunch as he did at a 40.0 K/9 clip in his debut with the Yanks in 2016.  Strikeouts will likely drag Austin's average down some but hopefully he walks enough to offset the damage there.  Meanwhile, Austin has a good power swing that can lead to some homers and he can steal the odd base as well.  Throw in outfield eligibility to go with first base and Austin should be added at least in AL-only formats.  In mixers you can take a stab but don't play him until you see if there is an adjustment period or not for Austin.  Also cut Carter loose in all formats as he will likely only be a backup if he is scooped up by another squad.  


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