When the phone rang on Tuesday morning, Argyle’s Austin Aune had two options that were a testament to his talent and the source of envy for just about any teenager in the nation — he could either play football at a Big 12 program or play for one of the world’s most famous teams.
By noon on Tuesday morning, Aune had chosen the latter.
Aune was drafted with the 89th overall pick by the New York Yankees in the second round of baseball’s First-Year Player Draft. He signed with the team for an undisclosed amount. Slot money for the 89th overall pick is $548,400, according to Baseball America. The number is the league’s suggested amount for the money allocated for the 89th pick.
Aune anchored Argyle’s explosive offense. He posted a .447 batting average, hit eight home runs and had 41 RBIs, leading the team in each of those categories.
“It feels great to be drafted by an organization with a lot of history,” Aune said. “It’s a real honor, and I get to start my dream early. I’m really excited.”
The 6-2, 190-pound Argyle graduate was previously headed to TCU to play both football and baseball.The quarterback and shortstop was named the District 9-3A co-MVP in football and the district MVP in baseball this past season. He was the seventh high school player from Texas to be taken in this year’s draft.
Aune stole 20 bases last season, the only Eagle to steal at least 10 bases. Aune’s power at the plate and his athleticism made him one of the top high school prospects in the state.The Argyle product was drafted as a center fielder.
In 2005, former Ryan standout and current Detroit Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson was drafted by the Yankees in the eighth round.
When the selection was announced, Aune was already at TCU for summer football workouts. The Yankees called Aune at about 9 a.m., an hour before his day was scheduled to begin.
After a quick greeting by Yankees senior vice president and general manager Brian Cashman, the team’s special assignment scout, Jim Hendry, talked to Aune on the phone to relay the team’s plans, Austin’s father, Greg Aune, said.
Greg Aune said there was a little bit of bargaining regarding the terms of his son’s contract, but the Yankees’ offer was pretty close to what the Aune family wanted. The family declined to disclose the terms of the contract.
Austin Aune said when he informed TCU head football coach Gary Patterson about his decision to sign with the Yankees, Patterson didn’t bother trying to talk Aune out of playing baseball professionally.
“He was totally supportive of me,” Austin Aune said as he packed his bags in TCU’s Moncrief Hall before heading home to Argyle. “He was so understanding. He recruited more than one quarterback because he knew there was a possibility of me getting drafted. I know he said he wasn’t surprised.”
For a stretch of about three or four weeks before the start of the high school baseball season, there were normally one or two scouts at the Aune house on a daily basis. He also went through numerous private workouts.
“It was pretty wild to me,” Greg Aune said. “It was kind of like, ‘How many times do you have to lift up his skirt to check him?’”
Austin Aune had three individual workouts with the Yankees. He also went to Tampa, Fla., on Thursday and Friday to hit for the organization.
Argyle head baseball coach Ricky Griffin said he felt Aune was either going to be drafted in the first round or end up going to TCU. Based on how scouts raved about the four-year starter, Griffin believed Aune had a legitimate chance of being drafted in the first round.
The two sides came to terms after the Yankees picked Aune in the second round.
“When the Yankees came to watch him in games or in practice, you could just tell,” Griffin said.“I think they really liked him from the very first. It wasn’t surprising that they were able to get the deal done. It didn’t surprise me at all.”
Aune is the first high school player Griffin has had picked in the draft. Griffin was proud of his former player and said the Yankees made a great choice.
“I didn’t have to worry about what he was doing on the weekends, and I didn’t have to worry about his grades,” Griffin said. “As a coach, you can’t ask for a lot more than that.”
Aune will continue playing a sport he’s played since he was 6 years old. He said he is ready and willing to go wherever the Yankees needs him to go, but will first head to Tampa, Fla., and the Yankees’ Gulf Coast League team, which plays at the team’s spring training complex.
“In third grade, I think I wrote a paper about playing baseball for the New York Yankees one day,” Austin Aune said. “Now getting drafted by the Yankees, that paper’s come true.”
Staff writer Adam Boedeker contributed to this report.
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