Bailey Horn

Auburn pitcher Bailey Horn delivers to the plate during the Tigers' Sunday win over Georgia Tech at the NCAA Tournament's Atlanta Regional at Russ Chandler Stadium in Atlanta. (Wade Rackley /Auburn Athletics)

Tim Hudson has seen a lot of pro baseball, but he calls a guy like Bailey Horn a rarity.

The Chicago White Sox have decided they want that in their club.

Auburn’s redshirt junior lefty Horn was selected by the White Sox in the fifth round with the No. 142 overall pick on Thursday night during the MLB Draft.

He follows staff ace Tanner Burns off the board, after Burns was picked in the draft’s opening night on Wednesday.

Hudson, a former 17-year pro himself and now Auburn’s pitching coach, touted Horn as a left-hander who can reach the mid-90’s with his fastball in a conference call earlier this week.

“Those guys don’t grow on trees,” Hudson said. “I think he has a pretty high ceiling — either a left-handed specialist, or I think he has the stuff to compete for a rotation spot.”

Online contract tracker projects the 142nd pick to be offered a signing bonus around $386,600.

“It was a surreal feeling to get that call. I just can’t explain it,” Horn said of being drafted in a release from Auburn baseball. “I’ve had a lot of help to get where I am today, and I can’t thank the people in my corner enough. (Auburn head coach Butch Thompson) took a chance on me out of junior college, and I can’t thank him enough for that. I’m excited for this next step in my career.”

Before him, Auburn signee Werner Blakely was picked by the Los Angeles Angels in the fourth round of the draft.

This year’s MLB Draft was shortened from 40 rounds down to just five due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Thompson said he expects most if not all of the players drafted within those five rounds to sign with the teams that draft them.

“He’s missed some time at the collegiate level, but I think what he did in the postseason last year and how he started this year, even in the fall, from a professional baseball standpoint, they’ve see him,” Thompson said. “He kind of came out of nowhere. The sky’s the limit. His best days are definitely ahead of him. There’s just not a lot of guys walking Earth that are left-handed with the power he has and are that type of athlete.”

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