Auburn well-represented in 2017 MLB Draft

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Several Auburn players and signees heard their names called this week as the 2017 MLB Draft wrapped up on Wednesday.

The first Auburn player drafted was JUCO commit Evan Steele, a left-handed pitcher. Steele was drafted in the second round and was the No. 73 overall pick by the Kansas City Royals.

Steele, a former Vanderbilt player, spent the 2017 season at Chipola College in Florida. He went 5-0 with a 2.01 ERA and racked up 58 strikeouts in 40.1 innings.

Auburn ace Keegan Thompson was the next player selected, going in the third round to the defending world champion Chicago Cubs. He was the No. 103 overall pick.

Thompson, who was drafted in the 33rd round last year by the Detroit Tigers, returned to Auburn for his junior season and was excellent for the Tigers. He finished the year 7-4 with a 2.41 ERA over 15 starts.

Thompson, who has one more year of eligibility for Auburn, will likely not return to the Plains. His Auburn career will likely end with a 19-10 record and a 2.46 ERA over 41 career appearances.

In his final start of the season, Thompson allowed two runs over eight innings against UCF in Game 1 of the NCAA Tallahassee Regional. He threw a season-high 119 pitches and struck out nine.

Outfielder Jonah Todd was the next Tiger taken off the board, going to the Los Angeles Angels in the sixth round and 175th overall pick.

Todd, who was a walk-on for Auburn this season, finished the year with a team-leading .376 batting average. His average was good for second in the SEC behind Mississippi State’s Brent Rooker.

The Birmingport, Ala. native earned All-SEC second-team honors after finishing his only season on the Plains with 56 runs, 13 doubles, five triples, 37 RBIs, 37 walks and nine stolen bases. He reached base in 58 of Auburn’s 63 games. He also was named to the SEC All-Defensive team.

Seven Auburn players/signees were taken during the third and final day of the draft.

Daniel Robert, who played right field, first base and pitched for Auburn, was taken in the 21st round by the Texas Rangers.

Robert finished the season with a .290 batting average, five homeruns and a team-leading 42 RBIs. He also stole a team-high 11 bases.

On the mound, Robert compiled a 2.16 ERA over six appearances and 8.1 innings.

In the 35th round, Auburn catcher signee Steven Williams was drafted by the New York Yankees. Williams hit .524 with 11 home runs, 49 RBIs and 16 stolen bases for Deerfield-Windsor High in Albany, Ga. He will likely head to Auburn to begin his college career.

 

Gabe Klobosits, a 6-foot-7 right-handed pitcher, was taken in the 36th round by the Washington Nationals. He finished his two-year career at Auburn with a 3-6 record and 4.91 ERA over 38 appearances.

Tanner Burns, Auburn’s top signee, was taken in the 37th round by the Yankees. Burns, who won Alabama’s Mr. Baseball, has made it clear that he plans to forego any MLB plans and head to Auburn.

 

Burns finished his senior year at Decatur High School with a 10-1 record and a 0.88 ERA. He racked up 116 strikeouts over 64 innings. He also hit .467 with 16 home runs and 46 RBIs.

Signees Ryan Hoerter, Edouard Julien and Peyton Glavine were all taken in the final rounds of the draft.

Hoerter was selected in the 36th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Julien and Glavine were each taken in the 37th by the Philadelphia Phillies and Angels, respectively.

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