(Press Release, Photo Credit: Chris Lockard)
The Southern Illinois Miners have announced the signing of former top prospect Jay Austin of the Houston Astros organization. He was drafted in the second round of the 2008 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.
Austin will be entering his sixth year of professional baseball. Baseball America has rated him as the “Fastest Player in the Astros organization” and “Best Athlete” in their organizational report. He was named by SB Nation as the third best overall prospect and top position player prospect. Austin also appeared in the Arizona Fall League in 2010 and 2011, the fall showcase league for top Major League Baseball prospects.
“I am very excited to have Jay with us,” said Miners manager Mike Pinto. “He brings speed, great base-stealing ability, and great defensive skills with some power in his bat. He is excited to be with us this year and getting back to the game he loves.”
Austin brings a multitude of successful seasons in the Astros minor league system. With High-A Lancaster, Austin hit .267 with 25 doubles, 13 triples and 10 home runs. He showcased his speed by stealing 54 bases. He had three consecutive seasons with more than 20 doubles and has a career batting average of .249.
“I want to thank former Miner Eric Suttle who played with Jay in the Astros organization with connecting the two of us,” added Pinto. “It’s just another example of how our Miners Family continues to work together. Eric was with our organization for three seasons and will always be part of our Miners Family.”