Yankees' Austin Breaks Out With Bat





BEST PLAYER: Had center fielder Mason Williams avoided season-ending surgery, his name would be here. Yet that doesn't mean Tyler Austin is a consolation prize. Moved to high Class A Tampa at midseason, Austin thrived against better pitching, and he earned a late-season cameo at Double-A Trenton.

"He was sensational," general manager Brian Cashman said of Austin, a 21-year-old righthanded hitter. "He has an intense focus and determination that matches his skills."

A 13th-round pick out of a Georgia high school in 2010, Austin hit .321/.385/.478 in 36 games for Tampa, after batting .320/.405/.598 for Charleston. He made the switch from third base to right field in spring training, and according to Cashman displayed average skills at the position.

BEST PITCHER: Righthander Mark Montgomery dominated for Tampa and earned a promotion to Trenton, where the 22-year-old continued to shine. In 31 relief appearances for Tampa, the 5-foot-11 Montgomery posted 14 saves, fanned 61 in 40 innings, allowed 23 hits and 16 walks, with a 1.34 ERA. Double-A hitters didn't do any better. In 21 innings for Trenton, Montgomery had a 2.14 ERA, struck out 34 and issued six walks.

"He has a power arm and a Joba (Chamberlain)-like slider," Cashman said of Montgomery, an 11th-round pick in 2011 out of Longwood. "He could be in the big leagues as early as next year."

KEEP AN EYE ON: Two years ago David Adams was on the fast track to the big leagues because of a productive bat. He was slated to be included in a trade with the Mariners (with Jesus Montero) for Cliff Lee, but that trade fell apart when Seattle didn't like the medical report on Adams' right ankle. Limited to DH duties at the beginning of this season, the 25-year-old Adams played both second and third base and batted .306/.385/.450 in 82 games for Trenton.

"He could always hit," Cashman said. "Now he is healthy and playing well at third. As the year progressed you saw the athleticism."

YANKEE DOODLES

• Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Dave Miley won International League manager of the year honors, while Trenton's Tony Franklin did the same in the Eastern League.

• The Yankees and Trenton extended their affiliation agreement through the 2022 season.