Get To Know No. 22 Overall In Our 2017 Rankings

Dan CevetteAustin Bates
Director, New York

Name: Austin Bates
High School: Ossining HS
Hometown: Ossining, NY
Position: Catcher
Grad Year: 2017
Commitment: North Carolina
GPA: 3.0

PBR sat down with North Carolina commit Austin Bates for a deeper look inside his high-level game.

PBR: Your a rising sophomore who is making a name for himself. Tell us all about your high-level game.

Bates: When I go into a game I don't think about who I'm playing or who I'm playing with. When there is a chance to make the hard play I make sure I get it done. I don't just sit back and watch. I play the game like it is the only thing I have.

PBR: You have recently verbally committed to North Carolina. Tell us how that happened, why you picked them, and why so soon

Bates: Yes I verbally committed to North Carolina. When I was playing in fort myers for the WWBA underclass championship I got a text from Bob Barth saying UNC was interested. So I went to their camp and I just fell in love with the Camus and the baseball facilities. The coaches there are unbelievably good at what they do. They are amazing guys and made it feel like home to me. It's every kid's dream to go play baseball at the University of North Carolina and I take a lot of pride in that. I just couldn't find a way to say no because of how much it felt like home to me. So that is why I picked North Carolina so soon.

PBR: When was your break-out performance? Tell us when, where, and what made it special.

Bates: My break out performance was when my team played in the Super25 event in Fort Myers. It was at the end of the summer of 2014. What made it so special was i was catching my favorite pitcher Jason Groome. In my opinion he is the best pitcher in the country. We were playing the Houston Banditos in the championship game and the lead off batter hit a lead off double. Everyone was shocked. The third pitch I knew I had to help my friend out and I picked off the runner from my knees after the pitch. From that point on we dominated the game and won 9-1. I also went 2-4 at the plate. It was a special moment that I appreciate everyday.

PBR: This is a big off-season in your young career. Tell us what you plan on doing to prepare for the 2015 spring season.

Bates: I plan on gaining weight and getting a lot stronger, but also stay athletic. I plan on also still doing my normal routine with practicing on my receiving, throwing, and blocking. If I keep going the way I am I will be able to switch hit for the 2015 season.

PBR: Who will be the toughest team you face this spring? Toughest player?

Bates: The toughest team I will face this spring will probably be Fox Lane. The toughest player will probably be Andrew Workman their best pitcher.

PBR: Tell us something about yourself that other people may not know, but would like to know.

Bates: I am always smiling and I love to play sports. I am also a big fan of country music. My favorite artist is Sami.

Scouting Report on Bates
+ Bates C (Ossining HS, NY) is the definition of projectable with a slim, slender build, 5-foot-11, 160-pounds but highly-athletic. (7.1 60) Behind the dish his footwork is above average, gains ground on his throws, receives soft with a clean exchange. Bates throws from a high-3/4 slot and gets a lot of external rotation creating well-above arm strength and pop times at 1.89. At the plate his setup is slightly open. Strides back to even on the pitch, short path to the ball, hands stay inside the ball, barrel gets uphill some, shoulders have north-south tilt. His finish is at his shoulders with some extension. There's no doubt Bates is a next-level guy, already verbally committed to North Carolina, he just needs time to add 15-20-pounds, develop and mature.

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