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ProspectNation 2011: #8 Austin Hyatt- RHP

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, February 11, 2011 03:15 PM | Comments: 4
2011 Top 25 Prospects, Fightins, Minor Leagues, Posts, Prospecting

Previously drafted by the Braves out of high school, Austin Hyatt was selected as a 15th round draft choice by the Phillies in 2009, having attended the University of Alabama where he pitched as a starter.

In his senior season with Alabama, Hyatt posted an 8-3 record with a 3.76 ERA in 15 games in the tough Southeastern Conference before signing his first professional contract with the Phils.

Almost immediately, Hyatt began his pro career with the short season Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York-Penn League. The right-hander dominated as a 23-year-old, posting a 3-0 record with a 0.66 ERA and a .141 batting average against in 17 games, 5 of which were starts. With Williamsport, Hyatt struck out a beastly 81 batters in 54 1/3 innings.

The tremendous efforts upon his arrival in the Phillies organization earned Hyatt a bump up to Class A Lakewood where he served as the BlueClaws’ set up man for the team’s postseason run en route to the South Atlantic League title. Hyatt pitched in all 5 Lakewood wins in the 2009 postseason without allowing a run.

As a member of the High A level Clearwater Threshers in 2010, Hyatt posted an 11-5 record with a 3.04 ERA and a .220 batting average against in 23 games, 21 of which he started. In 124 1/3 innings in the Florida State League, Hyatt struck out 156 batters and walked just 35.

In one May start against Jupiter (Marlins affiliate), Hyatt forced the baseball world to take notice of his talents, as he struck out a career high 14 batters, while allowing just 1 hit over 8 innings.

Over Hyatt’s final 10 starts with the Threshers, he won 5 and lost none, while notching an astounding 0.83 ERA.

The 6’2″, 180-pounder was named the Florida State League’s pitcher of the year for his exceptional efforts in 2010, despite being promoted to Double A Reading in early August.

With Reading, Hyatt started 4 games, going 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA and a .247 batting average against. While in Double A, Hyatt added more solid strike out numbers, posting 25 K’s in 22 innings.

Now 24 years old, Hyatt’s pitch repertoire includes a fastball that tops out in the mid-90′s and a very good change up that has movement. Hyatt’s third pitch is a slider that he worked to gain more confidence in last season. The success of the slider, among other factors, could determine Hyatt’s future status, whether as a starter or a reliever.

Expect to see Hyatt back in Reading in 2011.  His future with the Phillies does not seem to be as a starter at this point. With considerable depth among starting pitchers at the Major League level (the starting 5 locked in, with Kyle Kendrick and Vance Worley on standby, in case they are needed), the Phillies could likely move Hyatt back to a relief role, going forward, with hopes he will continue to progress quickly. If Hyatt can take some strides and impress the higher ups this year, fans could see the Georgia native insert himself into the conversation with other relievers the team has as bullpen options.

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Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider. You can check out more content from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.

Avatar of Jay Floyd

About Jay Floyd

Jay Floyd has written 665 articles on Phillies Nation.

Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation's minor league insider. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.

 
 
  • Posts: 1 bsizzle

    Wow, this seems high for Hyatt. I like him, I like his numbers, but he’s also a 24 y/o who spent most of his career pitching A-ball so far.

     
    • Posts: 0 Matt

      Yea, but that was his FIRST year…. look at A LOT of the Phillies Minor League players. They spend YEARS in ONE league.

       
  • Posts: 1 JMills

    Avatar of JMills

    I saw Hyatt pitch at Reading, he only topped out at 90 mph. He does have excellent control and gets a lot of swings and misses.

     
  • Posts: 147 Don M

    Avatar of Don M

    Jay, great write-up…. these are very insightful to players that most of us don’t know much about!

    I think that Hyatt is almost the exact player that becomes TRADE BAIT at this year’s deadline to address whatever need we have.. If we’re lacking that Right-Handed bat (though I personally think Francisco is in for a big year!).. or a defensive sub in the OF, or a speedy extra OF, an extra veteran INF

    Basically, whatever the Phillies feel they need, the can go get… not worrying about giving up a few prospects to 1/2 a season of a “rental player” … if it would give us a chance to win THIS YEAR, or at any point before Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels, could be gone . . It is worth it.

    Players to watch, could inclue Michael Cuddyer.. a RH power-bat that plays RF and 1b, playoff experience . . . and small-market Minnesota is always looking to add prospects with low salary under team control. If they fall out of the playoff hunt early, I could see them willing to move him

    Cuddyer will make $10.5 M this season… I wonder if a Blanton + two prospects, for Cuddyer + a prospect deal could work. A career .270 hitter, .287 vs LHP with a .375 On-Base% vs LHP

    a .338 hitter in 7 career postseason series

     
 
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