April 5, 2012
- Three former Auburn baseball players are on Major League Baseball Opening Day rosters and two others are on 40-man rosters as MLB kicked off the 2012 season with seven games on Thursday. Josh Donaldson (Oakland A's), David Ross (Atlanta Braves) and Clete Thomas (Detroit Tigers) are all on the active roster while Evan Crawford (Toronto Blue Jays) and Tim Hudson (Atlanta Braves ) are on the 40-man roster.
Donaldson, who starred at Auburn from 2005-07, is on an Opening Day roster for the first time in his career and is penciled in as the everyday third baseman for the A's. Drafted in the supplemental round in 2007 by the Chicago Cubs as a catcher, he was traded to the A's in July 2008. He made his MLB Debut on April 30, 2010, at Toronto and has played in 15 games in his big league career and this year has made the move back to third, which is the position he played as a freshman at Auburn. He was on the roster this past week when Oakland opened up the season with a pair of games in Japan, going 1-for-3.
David Ross is back with Atlanta for his fourth season and his 10th big league season overall. A key component to Auburn's 1997 College World Series Team, he is a career .236 hitter in 596 major league games. A catcher, he was drafted in the seventh round of the 1998 draft after transferring to Florida for his junior year.
Clete Thomas is returning to Detroit after spending parts of the 2008 and 2009 seasons there, compiling a .253 average in 142 games. An outfielder, he was a sixth-round pick of Detroit in 2005 and has spent his entire professional career in the Detroit system.
Evan Crawford is on the Blue Jays 40-man roster for the first time in his career but will begin the year with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, for whom he was the winning pitcher in the 2011 Eastern League Championship-clinching game. A left-handed pitcher, he was an eighth-round pick by Toronto in 2008.
Tim Hudson is in his 14 MLB season and his eighth in Atlanta. The 1997 National Player of the Year as both a pitcher and an outfielder at Auburn, he has a 181-97 career record with a 3.40 ERA after being drafted in the sixth round by Oakland in 1997. He begins the 2012 season on the 15-day disabled list after undergoing back surgery in the offseason.
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