Name: Bryan Augenstein
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: July 11, 1986
Bryan Augenstein wasn't an instant top prospect when he stepped onto the University of Florida campus two years ago as a freshman. Coming out of high school, Augenstein was one of the Gators' top recruits and was expected to immediately be a key member to their pitching staff. But, it was not to be.
He suffered through a miserable first season with the Gators and was even left off their College World Series roster.
He came into college baseball with a mid-90's fastball that he had little control of, a slurvy breaking ball, and little else in his repertoire. Needless to say, his freshman year became a season of learning for the inexperienced Augenstein.
As a freshman, the former Sebastian River High School standout was hammered by the opposition, compiling a 7.88 ERA in nine appearances. That was just enough to keep him off the College World Series roster, something that, instead of discouraging the young righty, drove him to greater heights in 2006.
Entering the 2006 season as part of the Gators' rotation, very few expected that the beleaguered sophomore would be the second-day starter for the team. Following a lights out opening to the season, however, all the questions vanished.
Augenstein was not the same raw pitcher that fans, scouts, and coaches from around the conference saw as a freshman a year earlier. This new righty hurler was different, armed with a deadly changeup, a much sharper, refined curveball and a moving two-seam fastball to go along with his pure heat. He was no longer a thrower, but instead, a highly effective pitcher.
To end the 2006 college season, Augenstein was one of the few bright spots on a struggling Florida team, finishing the season with a record of 9-6 to go along with a stellar 3.07 ERA in 111.1 innings of work. He also struck out 98 while walking only 24. Out of nowhere, the 6-foot-5 right-hander had become one of the elite college pitchers in the nation.
Recently named to pitching staff of Team USA, Augenstein is reaching new heights as a prospect and is now being projected as a potential first round selection in the 2007 draft. If he performs for Team USA, as he did with the Gators this spring, his stock is going to continue to skyrocket.
Repertoire. Four-Seam Fastball, Two-Seam Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.
Fastball. Bryan Augenstein began his college career as a young pitcher that was all about his fastball. In high school, he could easily blow hitters away with his 91-94 MPH fastball, but he quickly learned that it wasn't going to work the same way in college. Hitters were right on his straight fastball as a freshman and weren't fooled by his unrefined breaking ball.
All of that changed in 2006 when the Florida native learned to throw a moving two-seam fastball as a sophomore. Learning that it wasn't all about blowing hitters away, the big righty still works in the low-90's with his two-seamer, getting up to 96 MPH with the four-seamer when he needs it. The key for him is the location. This spring, he showed that his command of his heater was among the best in the nation.
Other Pitches. Following his freshman year, few would have expected Augenstein to one day develop such a deep, strong repertoire. He now throws a sharp, 12-6 curveball that may have the potential to become a plus pitch, and an outstanding changeup that already is a plus pitch.
The Gators' ace is also able to get ahead with these two pitches, not just use them as put away pitches. His approach on the mound is all about command, and he can also pinpoint the location of his secondary pitches as well as his fastball.
Pitching. He is what every scouts looks for in college pitcher. He has the size (6-foot-5), the experience, the command, and the raw stuff. Augenstein is the complete package following his first two years of college. Out of high school, scouts knew of his raw stuff but came to the realization that college was the ideal route for such an unpolished commodity.
Now, he has the outstanding command of all three of his pitches, shows an unflappable demeanor on the hill, and has the swagger that he can get anyone out. He consistently works ahead in the count, pounds the strike zone, and has the pure stuff to miss bats as well.
Projection. Of course, it is very early to make an accurate projection, but from the impressions scouts have gotten off Augenstein, it appears that he profiles as an ideal number two starter at the big league level. His stuff is good across the board, but he may not have the electric stuff to make him a typical ace. He is proving to be an innings eater that will pound the strike zone with the ability to be a successful starter for years to come.