Jay Austin gets second chance with Southern Illinois Miners

Life as a baseball player can at times be tough as Miners outfielder Jay Austin found out. After five years in the Houston Astros organization he was let go in 2012.

After sitting out all of last season, he is ready for another shot.

“Many guys don’t get a second chance,” said Austin. “I see this as my second chance.”

After being recommended by a former Miners player, manager Mike Pinto jumped at the opportunity to sign Austin.

“Some publications rated him as the best position prospect,” Pinto said. “I am looking forward to seeing him play in the outfield and showing us what he can do. I hear he can fly.”

Austin also comes with a lot of accolades. In 2008, and 2009 the Astros rated him as the most athletic in their organization.

“As of right now it means nothing because it is in the past,” Austin said. “I take pride in it, but it is not something I am going to hold in my head.”

Because of injuries, Austin wasn’t able to play in any of this years preseason games, but that doesn’t worry the Miners.

“He is still a young guy,” said Pinto. “You dont lose that speed at 25 or 26.”

“I still have my speed,” said Austin. “I just got to get back to playing baseball and what I love to do.”

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