Auburn baseball signee Werner Blakely was picked in the fourth round of the MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.
He was selected No. 111 overall.
Blakely signed with Auburn last December but will now choose between college and his professional opportunity.
Online sports contract database Spotrac.com projects the No. 111 draftee to be offered a bonus of $522,600.
Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said earlier this week that he expects most if not all of the players who are drafted in this year’s truncated MLB Draft, shrunk from 40 rounds down to five due to effects of the coronavirus pandemic, to ultimately sign and take advantage of their opportunity. That would include Blakely, a standout high school shortstop from Detroit.
Thompson said the Auburn staff has still been in contact with him recently as the draft approaches.
“I know our staff has Zoom’d with him and have connected with everybody that loves Werner,” Thompson said. “We’ve tried to do everything in our power to do everything that, if the draft is not going to be in play for you, now to come to Auburn.”
Thompson said then that he thinks Blakely could develop into a first-rounder with time, but that he understands why Blakely will strongly consider an offer from the team that drafts him.
“I think he’s one of the most interesting guys of the draft because I think people know him enough that they could take the stab and get a player now and say, ‘We can’t wait three years on this guy because we feel the same way the Auburn coaching staff does and we want him now,’” Thompson said. “I think that could happen. I think possibly along the same percentages it could wind up being, ‘He’s going to be there and be great and we’re going to let him get to college and grow for three years and see what he’s going to be.’”
Either way, Thompson said Blakely and his father have called the situation a win-win for him, one option being a dream come true in signing with an MLB club, and the other being the opportunity to play at Auburn if that doesn’t work out.
“He’s going to control what he can control and it just sounds so mature to hear him say that,” Thompson said. “We back that and since it’s his words we have kind of adopted that. That’s how we’re going into this week. He’s controlling what he can control and I think he’s in a win-win.
“It gives respect to Auburn, but he also wants to see what’s under the tree on Christmas morning to see if that bike is under there. I respect that as well.”