Tigers Scouting Report #28: Austin Schotts

After an outstanding debut season in 2012 when he was a 3rd Round draft pick, Austin Schotts came back to Earth in 2013, struggling mightily in West Michigan before finishing the season back in short season ball with Connecticut. The struggles have dampened the outlook on Schotts' future potential, but how much so?

Austin Schotts


Position: Outfielder
Date of Birth: 9/16/1993 (2014 Opening Day Age: 20)
Height/Weight: 5-11/180
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: 2012 MLB Draft, 3rd Round
Ranking History: #8 (2013), #28 (2014)

Background: Signed as a third round pick in 2012, Schotts had a huge debut in the Gulf Coast League, posting a .310/.360/.452 line in 40 games. At 19-years old he struggled with a full-season assignment in 2013, hitting just .192 in 59 games at Low-A. After a demotion to short-season Connecticut in June, he hit just .229 with eleven extra-base hits in 62 games.


2013 Stats - Hitting
West Mich 193223761117147595.192.248.249
Connecticut 2182550731132071223.229.305.303

Scouting Report

Body: Plus-plus athlete; one of the best athletes in the system; thin, slight frame; lacks strength; doesn't have room to hang muscle; some physical development possible; more likely to remain extremely lean; fast-twitch kid.

Hit: Very raw hitter; struggles with barrel control; struggles to recognize and handle spin in or out of the zone; out front of soft stuff; can make contact on mediocre velocity; high-end velo blows him away; doesn't impact the ball; swung through a lot of pitches in the strike zone even after demotion; shows ability to hit ball to all fields when he makes contact; hit projection is poor given current pitch recognition and barrel control; hit tool will limit offensive utility; below-average projection at this time; tool could change radically during developmental arc, and needs to. Grade – Present 2/Future 4

Power: No power at present; physical projection is limited; lack of strength hurts hit tool and dramatically impacts power; struggles to consistently drive ball to gaps; over-the-fence power will not be part of his game; additional strength could lead to more solid line drives and gap power; likely always at least below-average; not part of his game; doubles and triples will come with speed. Grade – 2/3+

Speed: Burner; can get down the line; sub-4.1 times as RHH are regular; busts it down the line; instincts to apply speed on bases; can steal at acceptable rate but will need to continue refining reads against advanced catchers/pitchers; can take extra base; speed plays in OF; can get from gap to gap easily; legit plus-plus runner with tool that plays to that grade day in and day out. Grade – 7/7

Defense: Still learning as OF (converted SS); made strides in 2013; reads off the bat were better; took more direct routes; has defensive projection; speed covers some mistakes now; potential to be Gold Glove caliber CF with at least plus projection; experience necessary but has tools to stay in the middle. Grade – 4+/6+

Arm: Still making mechanical adjustments to OF; arm doesn't play to average; needs to add strength and gain consistency; below-average at present; lacks carry and accuracy; potential for fringe-average to average arm; development will depend on throwing mechanics and additional strength. Grade – 4/4+

Other: Incredibly hard worker; loves the game; max effort player; instincts on the come and should continue developing; needs to learn how to rebound from failure.

Final Word

Summary: Has defensive tools to carry profile and stay in the middle of the field; arm will play in CF; defensive chops could be high-end; speed is near elite and plays to grade level with instincts/aggression; bat has a long way to go; below-average power projection will remain; lacks the room to add significant strength but must add some; needs to impact the ball and develop hit tool to have any offensive profile.

Risk: Extreme risk; plenty of physical development left; no success past complex league; offensive game must make multiple-grade jump to have MLB future.

Projection: Work in progress and long-shot project; has everyday CF profile defensively; bat may play to the bottom of a lineup at best; will require 3-4 additional years of development; another crack at Low-A is on the docket in 2014.

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