Since dealing first baseman Jesus Aguilar for Jacob Faria, the Milwaukee Brewers have lacked depth at first base. That changed today as the team added Tyler Austin on a Minor League deal. Who is Tyler Austin?
Tyler Austin was last seen in the Majors with the San Francisco Giants as recently as two weeks ago. Austin was cut when the Giants signed Kyle Barraclough earlier this month. Austin actually started the year with the Minnesota Twins, but was traded to San Francisco after just a few games. The Milwaukee Brewers are his third organization this year.
How has Austin performed in 2019?
Austin has played 72 games in the Majors this year, and owns a .187/.283/.406 slash line. He has bashed eight homers, and driven in 20 runs. Unbelievably, Austin has a 0.2 WAR this year. He has an 11.8% walk rate, but it also comes with a 39.5% strikeout rate.
Does Austin at least have a solid track record?
Well, Austin hit 17 homers and managed a .767 OPS in the Majors in 2018. He’s also posted a slugging percentage over .500 at every stop in the Minors since 2016.
Austin has 65-grade raw power, and 50-grade game power, so he can mash, but he doesn’t have quite the track record of Minor League success that Jesus Aguilar or Eric Thames posted, but he can hit baseballs hard and he’s athletic enough to handle first base on defense.
Will Austin play in the Majors for the Brewers?
He’ll only crack the Milwaukee Brewers’ Major League roster if there’s an injury to Thames or Ryan Braun, and even then he might be behind Travis Shaw. Austin isn’t on the 40-man roster, so the team would have to make a few adjustments before they can add him to the active roster.
The Milwaukee Brewers needed to add depth at first base, and that’s exactly what they did. GM David Stearns found a guy who could fill in if the Brewers suffer an injury at first base, and perform at a level higher than a name off a Double-A roster. Austin isn’t exciting, and he probably won’t be with the organization past October, but he could handle first base for a week or two if one of the regulars needs some time on the Injured List.