After being selected with the 142nd pick by the Chicago White Sox, Bailey Horn joins the growing list of Auburn pitcher to be drafted.
Since 2018, Auburn has had a total of nine pitchers drafted with seven of the nine currently pitching in the minor league system. The two exceptions are that Davis Daniel has been selected twice, and Jack Owen returned for the 2020 season after being drafted in 2019.
Horn joined Auburn in 2019 as a redshirt sophomore after a serious Tommy John surgery the season before. In his first season, Horn had five starts and 18 appearances on the field his first season with the Tigers.
2020's draft is the first time since 1997 that two Auburn pitchers have been taken within the first five rounds, making it the third time in program history.
“To be drafted in general was a huge blessing,” Horn said. “It wouldn’t have been possible without being blessed with the opportunity to play at Auburn having the resources I’ve had there, learned there and developed there. It wouldn’t have happened without being an Auburn Tiger first, so being drafted anywhere was a huge accomplishment.”
In his Auburn debut against Georgia Southern, Horn showed what he was capable of by pitching three scoreless innings. The game featured a rain delay that wouldn’t slow Horn down ending in what Thompson called a “huge night that propelled” the Tigers.
“He was worth the risk,” said head coach Butch Thompson. “We threw him out there before he was ready last year. We needed the hitters. We needed the developers, but right there at the end we thought we needed him and we were right.”
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
Horn's draft-day journey took some unusual turns after the 2020 season was canceled because of COVID-19. His draft-day journey was not the only thing impacted as he had plans to help send his team into the postseason again to round out his redshirt junior year.
“Having the season come to an end was the worst down of the season,” Horn said. “I know every guy on the team wanted to see this season through. Getting drafted was great, but I would have much rather seen our season play through. I firmly believe we would have been back in Omaha.”
In the shortened season, Horn finished with a 2.08 ERA, struck out a total of 27 batters, pitched 15 scoreless innings, and started in three of Auburn's shutouts. His final start for Auburn featured his career-high for innings pitched at six, and a career-high in strikeouts with 11.
“[Horn] was ready,” Thompson said. “[Horn] is a guy that has his degree and was ready to go out. He’s so strong and there’s just not a lot of guys walking around like [him] out there with the talent being left-handed and the power potential that he has.”
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman