Austin Wynns comes in at number 24 on the Orioles top 30 prospects list. Check here for the profile on number 25 Nestor Cortes.
Wynns has been in the Orioles Organization since he was drafted out of Fresno State in the 10th round of the 2o13 amateur draft.
Wynns got his college career off to a slow start. Wyyns played in 32 games including eight starts, and hit .189 with seven hits and six RBI in 37 at-bats.
His sophomore season was arguably his most successful of his college career. In 56 games, including 54 starts, Wynns batted .326 with 21 RBI in 175 at-bats. His stellar sophomore performance earned him a first team all conference selection.
He continued to start his junior and Senior year making 106 starts in 111 total appearances. IN 366 at-bats, Wynns had a .281 batting average driving in 54 runs and scoring 66 himself.
After Baltimore selected Wynns in the 10th round of the draft, he was immediately assigned to the Aberdeen IronBirds. In 54 games and 107 at-bats, he hit .235 with 21 RBI. Despite a mediocre start to his pro career at the plate, he shined defensively behind the plate. He started 44 games behind the plate and only made two errors in 371 chances.
He started the next season with the Delmarva ShoreBirds, and also played 5 games with the Frederick Keys. He was able to bump up his offensive numbers during the 2014 season. In 327 at-bats he slashed .251/.307/.312 with 17 doubles and 37 RBI. He continued shine on defense only committing three errors 566.2 innings of work behind the plate.
His next two seasons were spent across High A, AA, and AAA. He spent 125 games in High A Frederick, 25 games with AA Bowie, and eight games with AAA Norfolk. In those two seasons he continued to put up serviceable numbers at the plate, while being a standout defensive catcher.
He had 525 total at-bats hitting .284 with 65 RBI and 9 home runs. Defensively he played in 1039.2 innings only giving up nine errors.
Despite his good performances in his past couple seasons, he played the entire 2017 season at AA Bowie as Chance Sisco was starting in AAA Norfolk. He appeared in 105 games in 2017, starting in 89 games behind the plate. In 370 at-bats, he had 54 runs, 104 hits, 19 doubles, and 10 home runs which were all career highs. He also had his best season definsively, posting a .998 fielding percentage and caught 38% of base stealers.
His breakout performance in AA has propelled Wynns into contention for a backup catcher spot on Opening Day. His biggest competitors for that spot are Chance Sisco and Andrew Susac.
I will likely go into more depth into who I would like to see behind the plate later in the Spring, but right now my top choice would be Wynns. Wynns is the perfect backup catcher and would basically be Caleb Joseph 2.0. Hes not likely to win too many games at the plate, but by all reports he is better defensively than Sisco. Unless Sisco can get significant playing time at the Major League level, I think it is better for his development to play everyday in Norfolk.
Wynns is a strong defender behind the plate with above-average arm strength and advanced catch-and-throw skills that enabled him to throw out more than 38 percent of attempted basestealers in 2017. He also made strides with his blocking, and club officials speak highly of his feel for calling a game. No slouch with the bat, Wynns slashed .281/.377/.419 while establishing career highs in home runs (10), doubles (19) and walks (54).
MLB.com scouting grades (20-80)
Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 35 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45