Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 146 of 286. For the first 100, click here.
Austin James Dean is a 6’1″, 190 lb. left fielder from Spring, Texas. Former Miami Marlins pitcher Josh Beckett also hails from Spring. Dean was born on October 14th, 1993, and in 2012 was drafted by the Marlins in the fourth round of the MLB Amateur Entry Draft. Follow Dean on Twitter @AustinDean_3.
Selected 137th overall, Dean is one-of-19 chosen at that
spot to make the majors. The group is led by Joe Crede (pictured, 1996, Chicago White Sox, 14.7 career WAR), Ozzie Virgil (1976, Philadelphia Philles, 9.0 WAR), and Garrett Atkins (2000, Colorado Rockies, 4.0 WAR). Players drafted at that position make the major leagues at a 35 percent clip.
After coming to terms with the Miami Marlins for a $379,000 bonus, Dean reported to the rookie-level, Florida-based GCL Marlins, in the Gulf Coast League. In 47 games at the entry level, Dean hit .223/.337/.338, showing patience at the plate with 24 walks in 182 plate appearances for a 13.2 percent walk rate. Dean also played all three outfield positions in 2012 for GCL, racking up a .972 fielding percentage in 380 2/3 innings of work.
Dean started the 2013 campaign with the short-season-A, New York-Penn League’s Batavia Muckdogs, hitting .268/.325/.418 in 56 contests, leading the team with seven triples. Promoted to the single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League late in the year, Dean went four-for-20 in seven games.
"Dean is a disciplined hitter with a quick swing and a knack for putting the barrel on the ball. Though he’s physically strong and shows good raw power during batting practice, his line-drive bat path and whole-field approach continues to produce more doubles than home runs during games. Dean gets out of the box well for a right-handed hitter and shows average speed when he gets going. – MLB Pipeline"
Dean remained with the Grasshoppers for the entire 2014 season, getting into 99 games primarily in left field. He slashed out a .308/.371/.444 line, with a team-second nine home runs and a team-fourth 58 RBI. In the field, he earned a .982 fielding percentage in 700 1/3 innings in left. He also made one error in three chances in center, his last time manning the eight. He made his first mid-season all-star team in the SAL.
Moving up in 2015 to the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League, Dean led the Sharks with 136 games played, still a career-high. He also led the team with 139 hits and 32 doubles, ranking second with 39 walks, 52 RBI, and 18 stolen bases. He slashed a .268/.318/.366 line while fielding .979, again mostly in left. He also played in the FSL All-Star Game. After the conventional season, Dean went 20-for-62 in 16 games for the Arizona Fall League, with the Mesa Solar Sox. He was named to the League’s “Rising Star” team.
In 2016, Dean opened the season as Miami’s number seven ranked prospect according to Baseball America. He moved up to the double-A Jacksonville Suns in the Southern League and led the team in every cumulative batting category. He led with 130 games, 480 at bats, 60 runs, 114 hits, 23 doubles, five triples, 11 home runs, and 67 RBI, 48 walks, and 110 strikeouts. Batting .238/.307/.375 while fielding .977 over 207 chances. He was named an MILB.COM organizational all-star, and played in his third consecutive League All-Star Game.
2017 would see Dean miss a giant hunk of the season on the injured list and remain with Jacksonville (now the Jumbo Shrimp) when active. In 61 games, he improved his line to .282/.323/.427 with four homers and 30 RBI, fielding 86 outfield chances without an error.
Dean started his 2018 season with Jacksonville for the third time, but after a month there was nothing he hadn’t accomplished at the level. In 22 games, he hit .420/.446/.654 with three homers and 14 RBI. He was the Southern League Player of the Month in April, 2018. Finally called up to triple-A in his seventh season in the system, Dean joined the New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Pacific Coast League on April 29th.
Dean’s bat showed no signs of cooling during his three month stay at triple-A. In 87 contests, he put up a .326/.397/.475 line, with nine homers and 54 RBI. For his efforts, he was named an MILB.COM organizational all-star for a second time. The Miami Marlins selected his contract on August 15th.
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Dean appeared in 34 games for the Marlins through the end of the season, going 25-for-113 from the plate with four doubles, four homers, and 14 RBI. Going by Wins Probability Added, Dean’s best performance was on August 19th in a 12-1 win against the Washington Nationals. He doubled home a pair of runs with two outs in the third for a 3-0 lead, and the eventual game winner. He added a single and scored in the fifth.
Dean is currently a front-runner for the left field Opening Day lineup. Others in the mix are Garrett Cooper, Isaac Galloway, and Magneuris Sierra. Dean has retained his rookie-eligibility, having less than 130 major league at bats before the conclusion of the season. If he remains with the club, he will reach arbitration eligibility in 2022.
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