Austin Hyatt has put up impressive numbers as he has made his way through the Phillies organization. After 32 career starts at the Double-A level, Hyatt was finally given a promotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to start the 2012 season and was positioned as their number two starter. As it turned out, a former teammate of Hyatt's, Tyler Cloyd, made his first Triple-A start on opening night in an emergency role for the IronPigs when scheduled starter Dave Bush was suspended for allegedly throwing at a hitter during spring training.
As Hyatt watched from the dugout, charting his buddy's pitches, he saw six perfect innings for Cloyd in his outing against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. The big question after the game was 'how does Hyatt top that debut?'
The 25-year old right-hander was impressed by Cloyd's outing, but not surprised that Cloyd wasn't fazed when he took to the mound. "He did a great job, which I expected. He just went out and threw strikes and did what he was supposed to do and had great success," said Hyatt, who made no prediction that he would top what Cloyd was able to do. For his part though, Hyatt did learn some things from how Hyatt approached the Yankees. "I want to go out and throw strikes, too. One or two of those batters I wasn't real familiar with and I got a few tips from what Cloyd and the bullpen did, so I'll just try to repeat some of the pitches and have success, too."
After being drafted by the Phillies in the 15th round of the 2009 Draft, Hyatt has made a steady climb to the Triple-A level. With the exception of one start at Lakewood late in the 2009 season, Hyatt skipped over the Low-A level to pitch at Clearwater in 2010. By the end of the season, Hyatt had already made it to Double-A Reading to start four games for the R-Phils. Last season, he spent the entire season at Reading before heading for Lehigh Valley to start this season.
In his three minor league seasons, Hyatt went 27-11 with a 3.20 ERA and posted a career-high in innings pitched last season with 154 1/3 innings of work.
IronPigs' manager Ryne Sandberg believes Hyatt's success will continue at the Triple-A level. "He's a student of the game and for him to be able to sit there and watch I'm sure was very helpful and it's not surprising that he was paying close attention," said Sandberg.