After four late-season starts with Reading last season, Hyatt started back with the R-Phils this season and looked like he was going to roll through the league. Through his first three starts of the season, Hyatt posted a 1.69 ERA and opponents were hitting just .203 against him. Once May hit though, there were a lot of potholes in the road for Hyatt and his six May starts resulted in a 5.34 ERA for the month and suddenly, Hyatt's numbers were looking pretty normal.
Hyatt showed his maturity by battling through the problems and eventually started to show progress back to being the pitcher he was early on in the 2011 season.
"I just got myself into a spot where I was battling myself," said Hyatt. "Every time out, something just didn't quite feel right."
Even with his struggles, Hyatt was chosen as the lone pitching representative from Reading in votes by league managers, coaching staffs and media members who cover various teams throughout the league.
Things have turned around so well for Hyatt that he was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending July 24. He made two starts during the season, posting a 1.38 ERA and winning both games. He pitched deep into both games, throwing a total of 13 innings and striking out 16 hitters. With 125 strikeouts in 112 1/3 innings, Hyatt is averaging 1.1 strikeouts per inning, just under his average of 1.3 Ks per inning that he averaged coming into the season.
"I don't go out there thinking that I'm going to strike out a lot of guys, but there are times when I do go after hitters a little harder," admitted Hyatt, offering a smile. "It can be kind of fun."
If the Phillies handle Hyatt the way they have in each of his other two pro seasons, he'll get a short taste of Triple-A by season's end. In his first season, Hyatt, who was dominating hitters in the New York-Penn League, got a one-game audition with Lakewood and made those four starts with Reading last August after pitching at Clearwater all season long.
Both Reading and Lehigh Valley are in the playoff picture in their respective divisions, so the decision may be to leave Hyatt at Reading where he's been successful or will they give him a promotion to Lehigh Valley even though he's struggled with his previous late season promotions.
Austin Hyatt's career stats