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SS R.J. Austin Withdraws His Name from MLB Draft

This was hinted at with Austin’s own twitter earlier, but now it’s confirmed. He’s ours.

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News Gary Cosby Jr. / USA TODAY NETWORK

I’ll have more on the top 200 prospect in a coming article on Vanderbilt commits who are (and for Austin and Dutkanych, at least, would have been) likely to be drafted next week. For now, know that the SS from Atlanta, GA will be in Gangster Pajamas next year. This is a good thing.

He’s got a 10/10 rating from Perfect Game, runs a 6.36 60, and has a cannon arm clocked in the low to mid 90s on the mound:

RJ Austin is a 2022 SS/RHP/IF with a 5-11 185 lb. frame from Atlanta, GA who attends Pace Academy. Medium athletic build. Very quick twitch athlete, 6.36 runner in the sixty, speed plays up in the games on both sides of the ball. Primary middle infielder, works low to the ground with smooth athleticism and quick feet, lots of lateral range and agility, plenty of raw arm strength. Would also have the tools to be a high level centerfielder. Right handed hitter, short leg raise and shift into contact, deep hand load, has quick hands and outstanding raw bat speed, has shown surprising pull side raw power, aggressive hitter. Also pitches, has a high energy delivery with a quick and compact high 3/4’s arm action. Fastball topped out at 90 mph, mostly straight. Did a good job of landing a big breaking slow curveball. Good student, verbal commitment to Vanderbilt. Named to play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic.

Had he kept his name in the draft, he would likely have heard his name called somewhere around the 5th round. Instead, he decided to bet on himself and come to Vanderbilt. For next year, at the very least, he will be a much needed up the middle defensive option, and with Carter Young transferring, and Kolwyck likely graduating and moving on, there will be openings in the middle infield. Yes, Nashville. Let’s go.