Austin, who turned 27 last September, hit .250/.400/.500 in early-season action with the Twins before he was designated for assignment on Saturday. The Twins added pitcher Chase De Jong in his place on the roster, and had seven days to place Austin on waivers, trade or release him.
Since Austin was already outrighted off the 40-man roster by the Yankees previously, he retains the right to refuse any future minor-league assignments.
Austin is a career .232/.291/.469 hitter in 122 MLB games. To make room for Austin, the Giants designated outfielder Connor Joe for assignment.
The Giants selected Ziegler, primarily a center fielder, in the 22nd round of the 2016 draft out of North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) in Mason City. According to Baseball Reference, Ziegler was the first-ever draft pick from the school, and the 22-year-old had been assigned to High-A San Jose after playing most of last season at Low-A Augusta in the Giants system.
Ziegler hit .237/.340/.370 in 59 games last year between Augusta and Giants Black in the Rookie level, and for his career is a .245/.339/.376 hitter with 38 steals in 143 games. Eighty-six of Ziegler’s 134 career games in the outfield have come in center field.
Baseball America ranked Ziegler the team’s No. 31 prospect after the 2017 season and the Northwest League’s No. 18 prospect, noting that the youngster had “70- or 80-grade” speed with gap-to-gap power. He’s viewed as a very good defensive center fielder but raw in all facets of the game.
Ziegler is eligible for the Rule 5 draft this upcoming winter.
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