"One of my goals was to someday play in the Futures Game," the Tampa right fielder said. "I was really looking forward to it."
But Austin didn't make it to Kansas City. An errant pitch saw to that.
The 20-year-old native of Georgia suffered a concussion when he was beaned in his second at-bat after being promoted to the Class A Advanced Florida State League from Class A Charleston on July 2.
"The ball hit the lower back of my helmet and my neck," Austin said.
The right-handed hitter was fortunate to suffer nothing worse than a few days of headaches from the resulting concussion, but the Futures Game on July 8 was obviously out.
"They wouldn't even let me make the trip," Austin said. "As a precaution, they said I couldn't travel. I was really disappointed."
The beaning, though, was just a temporary setback. Austin was back with Tampa in three weeks after a brief rehab stop in the Rookie Gulf Coast League and has returned to making a big impression with his bat.
Austin, who had hit .320 with 14 homers and 54 RBIs in 70 games for Charleston, was 16-for-45 in his first 11 games back in the Tampa lineup and had a .288 average with 11 RBIs through 19 FSL games.
"I believe everything happens for a reason," Austin said. "I was fortunate that I wasn't hurt worse, and there is always the Futures Game next year.
The right-handed hitter is likely to be a candidate again. He is now ranked as the Yankees' No. 5 prospect and is No. 97 among MLB.com Top 100 Prospects.
Austin's stock wasn't quite that high going into the season.
A catcher in high school outside Atlanta, Austin was chosen for the Aflac All-American Game after his junior season and expected to go high in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft as a senior.
Instead, he fell to the 13th round, where the Yankees took him with the last pick.
"I couldn't help being a little disappointed," Austin said.
But he signed for an above-slot bonus of $130,000 and headed to rookie ball in the Gulf Coast League, where he didn't make it through his second game.
In his fourth at-bat as a Minor Leaguer, he was hit by another errant pitch and fractured his left wrist.
Back in Gulf Coast League to start last season, Austin hit .390 in 20 games and earned a promotion to Staten Island of the Class A Short-Season New York-Penn League. He hit .323 there in 27 games.
Still, questions lingered about where he could play.
"The Yankees said they were drafting me as an outfielder," Austin said. "I'm not sure how I got to third base, and then they moved me over to first."
This year, Austin found himself in right field.
"I'm definitely more comfortable than I was at third or first," he said.
But it is in the batter's box where Austin will always feel the most at home.
In addition to his 14 homers at Charleston, Austin had 22 doubles and five triples while posting a .598 slugging mark that helped give him an OPS of 1.002.
Overall this season, he is hitting .316 with 25 doubles, six triples, 16 homers and 67 RBIs in 91 games. He also has 19 stolen bases in 21 attempts.
Austin wasn't surprised that he made the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, but that wasn't the case with the Futures Game invitation.
"I was shocked," he said. "I didn't think I had a chance this year."
But Austin's first half with the RiverDogs got everyone's attention. Now he is concentrating on finishing the second half just as strong with Tampa.
Catcher Gary Sanchez and outfielder Mason Williams -- the Yankees' other two top position player prospects -- were promoted along with Austin, and Tampa led the second-half standings in the North Division despite losing Williams to shoulder surgery.
Austin was a part of two championship teams a year ago, with both the Gulf Coast League Yankees and Staten Island winning titles.
"I want another ring," said Austin, who hit .429 in the postseason for Staten Island.
A third championship in two seasons would help make up for Austin having to miss that Futures Game.
Jungmann wins 10th: Brevard County's Taylor Jungmann tied for the league lead in victories with 10 as he won for the eighth time in 10 decision. He was 10-6 with a 3.61 ERA in 23 starts. The right-hander was the 12th overall pick in the 2011 Draft by Milwaukee out of the University of Texas and is ranked as the Brewers' No. 4 prospect. Jungmann is No. 84 among MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects.
Fernandez keeps rolling: Jose Fernandez, the 14th overall pick in the 2011 Draft by the Marlins, improved to 5-1 with Jupiter after starting the season 7-0 for Greensboro in the Class A South Atlantic League. Limited to five innings in each of his eight starts for the Hammerheads, the native of Cuba had a 2.48 ERA and 43 strikeouts to 13 walks in 40 innings. Fernandez, who turned 20 on July 31, is Miami's No. 3 prospect and ranks No. 90 among MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects.
Heathcott red hot: Tampa's Slade Heathcott batted .429 with two homers and 10 RBIs over a 10-game stretch to raise his average to .305. He had 19 extra-base hits and 24 RBIs and also had stolen 13 bases in 42 games. Heathcott, a first-round pick in the 2009 Draft, is coming off shoulder surgery. The outfielder is ranked as the Yankees' No. 7 prospect.