At the top of Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin’s to-do list during the offseason was finding Carter Young’s replacement at shortstop for 2023.
Corbin may have found the solution to his problem after class of 2022 recruit R.J. Austin announced he was honoring his commitment to Vanderbilt and withdrawing from the MLB Draft over the weekend.
“Nashville, let’s ride,” Austin said in an Instagram post announcing his decision.
The 5-foot-11 infielder from Atlanta is the second player from Vandy’s No. 2-ranked recruiting class to spurn the draft in favor of playing on West End, joining pitcher Andrew Dutkanych. Six other players from VU’s 2022 class are projected to be taken in next week’s draft.
The No. 8-ranked recruit in Vanderbilt’s 2022 class and the No. 59 overall recruit in the country according to Prefect Game, Austin will likely battle with rising sophomores Davis Diaz, Rob Gordon and Jonathan Vastine for the Commodores’ starting shortstop job next season.
Young, who hit .207 with seven home runs and 26 RBIs this year, transferred to LSU two weeks ago, leaving Vanderbilt with a hole in the heart of its infield.
Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_