Austin was the Royals first pick in 1998, fourth overall out of Stanford University. He was a two-time captain with the Cardinal and was the National Collegiate Player of the Year in 1998.
Austin moved quickly through the Royals minor league system, as he reached the big leagues on June 26, 2001. He made 21 appearances out of the bullpen in 2001 after being a starter for most of his life.
In 2002, he split time between Triple-A Omaha and the big leagues (ten games) before being traded to the Cincinnati Reds. He split 2003 between the Reds (seven starts in which he won his first big league game) and Triple-A Louisville (nine starts). On May 24, 2003, Austin became just the second pitcher in Major League history to allow three straight home runs to start a game. That happened against Atlanta.
Austin made his last big league appearance on May, 28, 2003. Problem is, Stanford pitchers normally are overworked in college and have arm problems. He was no different. His 2003 season came to an end with shoulder surgery.
2004 was his last season in affiliated baseball, where he pitched in 13 games at Gulf Coast and High-A Potomac with the Reds.
In 2005, Austin stayed on the East Coast and pitched for Long Island in the Atlantic League (independent). He pitched in 28 games (28 innings). That was the last time he pitched professionally, as he retired on July 4, 2005.
Austin moved on to Google, where he still works today. He returned to his alma mater in 2008 when he became the full-time pitching coach. He guided the pitching staff that season to the College World Series, where they finished third. He stayed on for the following season (2009).
In 2011, I found an article Austin wrote for Google about pitching a perfect game. Click HERE to read it.
Last season, Austin was the volunteer assistant coach at San Jose State while still working at Google. At Google, he is the Enterprise Regional Manager-Channel. He was part of an online webinar on June 19, 2013 on Google’s Vision for the Future of Work. Check it out and hear Austin speak around the 28:39 mark.
Tags: Kansas City Royals