AUBURN | For the second time in as many weeks, Auburn baseball’s 2017 recruiting class has been ranked in the top 10 as the Tigers appeared at No. 8 in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s poll released Wednesday.
Highlighted by Collegiate Baseball National High School Player of the Year Tanner Burns, Auburn checked in behind only Vanderbilt, Florida, South Carolina, Arizona State, LSU, Arkansas and Oklahoma State. The Tigers are ranked ahead of Kentucky, Michigan, Clemson, Oklahoma, Miami and Florida State among other programs.
The selection comes just over a week after the Tigers were tabbed with the sixth best recruiting class by Baseball America and marks Auburn’s third top-10 recruiting ranking in the last two seasons.
Head coach Butch Thompson has now inked 11 top-10 recruiting classes since 2003, including his inaugural class as the Auburn skipper, which appeared at No. 5 in the Collegiate Baseball poll a season ago.
“It’s great to see our vision start to take shape with another top-10 ranking for this recruiting class,” Thompson said. “It’s a class for the future that’s built on pitching with some valuable position player pieces from both the high school and Junior College ranks, and it’s a testament to our staff to be able to get premium players to class.”
Auburn’s incoming class is made up of 12 freshmen and five Junior College transfers with a strong emphasis placed on the Tigers’ battery – 13 of 17 newcomers are either pitchers or catchers.
The Orange and Blue had five freshmen who heard their names called in the 2017 MLB First Year Player Draft elect to enroll at Auburn. The list includes Steven Williams (New York Yankees – 35th Round), Ryan Hoerter (Pittsburgh Pirates – 36th Round), Burns (New York Yankees – 37th Round), Peyton Glavine (Los Angeles Angels – 37th Round) and Edouard Julien (Philadelphia Phillies – 37th Round).
Additionally, Burns, Cody Greenhill, Julien, Brendan Venter and Williams each appeared as top-500 draft prospects according to Baseball America. Burns, who checked in as the No. 38 overall prospect, was the highest-rated high school player to enroll in school, and Williams was rated No. 114 overall.
“Our University attracts good players and good families, and our staff did an outstanding job of identifying and eventually acquiring the right fits for us,” Thompson added. “For five freshmen that were drafted in last June’s draft to come to Auburn, you know they want to play professional baseball, but for them to want Auburn to be part of their journey and process says a ton about our program.”
To go along with his National High School Player of the Year accolade, Burns was also named Mr. Baseball in Alabama, the 6A Player of the Year and a First Team High School All-American by Collegiate Baseball. He was joined by Greenhill – the 5A Player of the Year in Alabama – Judd Ward and Williams as First Team All-Americans, while Glavine, who is the son of Hall of Famer Tom Glavine, earned Second Team honors.
2017 RECRUITING CLASS
Name Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Hometown/Previous School
Carter Bowen RHP R-R 5-11 195 Cullman, Ala./Cullman HS
Tanner Burns RHP R-R 6-0 205 Decatur, Ala./Decatur HS
Cade Evans IF S-R 6-0 170 Hixson, Tenn./Boyd Buchanan
Rhett Fetner RHP R-R 6-3 195 Roanoke, Ala./Handley HS
Peyton Glavine LHP R-L 5-11 175 Alpharetta, Ga./Blessed Trinity
Cody Greenhill RHP R-R 6-4 210 Russellville, Ala./Russellville HS
Chase Hall C R-R 6-0 150 Roanoke, Ala./Southern Union CC
Ryan Hoerter RHP R-R 6-6 185 Pleasant Prairie, Wisc./Indian Trail Academy
Edouard Julien IF S-R 6-1 185 Quebec City, Quebec/Cardinal-Roy
Ford Luttrell RHP L-R 6-0 185 Madison, Ala./Bob Jones HS
Jonathan McKinney RHP L-R 6-2 195 Marietta, Ga./Southern Union CC
Jack Owen LHP L-L 6-2 170 Coto De Caza, Calif./J Serra HS
Blake Schilleci LHP L-L 5-10 195 Birmingham, Ala./Wallace-Hanceville CC
Brendan Venter IF R-R 6-2 215 Flower Mound, Texas/McLennan CC
Judd Ward OF L-R 6-1 190 Russellville, Ala./Russellville HS
Steven Williams C L-R 6-3 220 Albany, Ga./Deerfield-Windsor HS
Brett Wright C R-R 6-2 185 New Caney, Texas/San Jacinto CC