Five Alabama baseball players and three Auburn players were selected on the final day of the 2019 Major League Baseball First-Year Draft Wednesday, while no Troy player was taken overall during the three days.
Three Wiregrass connections were selected Wednesday – Wallace College outfielder Oraj Aru by the Boston Red Sox in the 16th round, former Charles Henderson High standout and current LBW outfielder Bryson Gandy by the Minnesota Twins in the 32nd round and Enterprise State pitcher Jamarcus Lang in the 38th round by the Texas Rangers.
The first three Tide players selected went in consecutive rounds, starting with junior pitcher Deacon Medders by the San Diego Padres in the 20th round, followed by redshirt junior pitcher Davis Vainer by the Houston Astros in the 21st round and junior Morgan McCullough by the Los Angeles Angels in 22nd round.
The final two Tide players tabbed were graduate transfer Jeremy Randolph by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 26th round and redshirt junior Brock Love by the Miami Marlins in the 34th round.
The three Auburn players chosen Wednesday were third baseman Edouard Julien and left-handed pitchers Jack Owen and Elliott Anderson. Julien was drafted in the 18th round by the Minnesota Twins, Owen in the 21st round by the St. Louis Cardinals and Anderson in the 23rd round by the Kansas City Royals.
Five Tide selections
Medders, a Tuscaloosa native, finished with a 2-2 record and one save this past season during a team-high 24 appearances, spanning 31 2/3 innings. He led all Tide relievers with 51 strikeouts and held opposing batters to a .185 hitting average. For his career, he was 4-7 with a 4.02 ERA.
Vainer, an Atlanta native, was 1-1 with a 3.34 ERA this season with 43 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings of relief, while limiting foes to a .173 batting average. For his career, he was 3-5 with six saves and a 4.18 ERA.
McCullough, who transferred to Alabama this year after playing at Chipola College and Oregon, finished his first season with the Tide as team leader in triples (3) and co-leader in multi-hit games (17) and doubles (12). He finished second on the team in batting average (.309) and on-base percentage (.417). He reached base in 51 of the Tide’s 54 games.
Randolph, a transfer from Wright State in Ohio, was mainly the Crimson Tide’s closer this past season, finishing with a 3-2 record with nine saves. He also had a 3.49 ERA and 50 strikeouts to 15 walks in 38 2/3 innings.
Love, a starting pitcher this year after relieving most of his career, earned a 5-5 record and a team-leading 66 strikeouts in 60 innings this past season. He finished his career with an 8-7 record and one save, while recording 135 strikeouts over 115 innings and a career 4.30 ERA.
The Crimson Tide also had six members of the recent signing class selected during the three-day draft. The signee list includes: CJ Abrams (San Diego Padres, first round); Antoine Jean (Minnesota Twins, 17th round); Myles Austin (Milwaukee Brewers, 20th round); Owen Diodati (Toronto Blue Jays, 29th round); Jackson Tate (Seattle Mariners, 32nd round); and Connor Prielipp (Boston Red Sox, 37th round).
All signees and undergraduate players are eligible to play at Alabama to begin or continue their careers if they elect to not sign a professional contract.
Auburn trio selected
Julien, a draft eligible sophomore, was taken with the 539th overall pick, marking the second time in his career he has been drafted. The Quebec City native was drafted by the Phillies in the 37th round of the 2017 MLB Draft.
In two seasons on The Plains, Julien has etched his name in the record books. He broke Frank Thomas’ freshman RBI record and led the Southeastern Conference with 69 runs batted in during a freshman All-American campaign in 2018.
This year he became the first Auburn player since 2010-11 to drive in 40 or more runs in back-to-back seasons and also became the fifth fastest player in program history to drive in 100 career runs. Only Tim Hudson, Gabe Gross, Frank Thomas and Todd Faulkner have done it faster.
Owen, who is also a draft eligible sophomore, was drafted for the first time in his career as he was taken by the Cardinals with the 635th overall pick.
After serving primarily in a midweek role as freshman, Owen entered Auburn’s starting rotation in the third week of the 2019 season and has turned in a 4-2 record and a team-best 2.45 ERA. The Aliso Viejo, Calif., native didn’t allow a run in a span of 20.2 innings earlier this season and set the program record of 28.2 innings without allowing an earned run dating back to last year at the start of the season.
Anderson, a junior from Cartersville, Ga., was selected for the first time in his career as the Royals took him with the 679th overall pick.
The southpaw has been one of the Tigers most-used arms out of the bullpen in each of the last two seasons, making 64 career appearances.
After going 5-0 with a 3.64 ERA as a sophomore, Anderson has posted a 6-2 record with a 4.42 ERA during his junior season and has 12 wins in his career. Anderson has turned in career highs in appearances (26), innings pitched (59.0) and strikeouts (63) in 2019.