The Minnesota Twins made another trade this evening, shipping veteran right-hander Lance Lynn to the New York Yankees. In exchange the Twins will receive rookie outfielder/first baseman Tyler Austin and right-handed minor league prospect Luis Rijo. Here’s a quick look.
Tyler Austin, 1B-OF: The Yankees drafted Austin in the 13th round in 2010 from high school in Conyers, Georgia. He was on New York prospect lists for years but found his progress slowed by a series of significant injuries. He’s split 2018 between Triple-A Scranton (.253/.315/.525 in 99 at-bats) and the major league roster (.223/.280/.471 in 121 at-bats).
Overall he’s had 244 at-bats over parts of three MLB seasons, hitting a composite .230/.287/.459 with 15 homers, 19 walks, and 106 strikeouts.
Austin is now 26 years old, a right-handed hitter listed at 6-2, 220. Power is his best tool although his ability to deploy it in the majors has been hampered by contact problems. It should be noted that he’s shown a steadier approach in the minors and it is possible he could be a more productive hitter with the change of scenery.
Luis Rijo, RHP: Rijo was signed by the Yankees out of Venezuela in 2015. He’s been successful at the lower levels of the organization and has pitched well in limited action in 2018, posting a 2.77 ERA in 39 innings this year between the Appalachian, New York-Penn, and Florida State Leagues, giving up 42 hits but with a stellar 32/3 K/BB ratio.
Rijo is 19 years old, listed at 6-1, 200. Scouting details are vague at the moment. Greg Corcoran at Bronx Baseball Daily reported Rijo in September 2017 as “a low velocity guy, sitting in the high 80’s, low 90’s right now. He has good secondary pitches though and at his age should add some velocity as the years go on”. We’ll update when we get more information but his control and youth make him intriguing.