June 6, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN — Conner Kendrick's 2.13 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 80 1/3 innings did more than impress Auburn fans and opposing batters this season.
Baseball America projects the junior pitcher to be the first Auburn player to be selected in the first-year player draft, which begins tonight and runs through Saturday.
Auburn was busy the last three drafts when 21 Tigers were selected. Auburn also lost two signees to the first round last year, and at least three signees are expected to be drafted in rounds this year where they may consider their options.
Kendrick's stock rose this year after a 5-3 record. He allowed 34 runs, but only 19 were earned. He's ranked as the 313th best player available by Baseball America.
Other Auburn players likely to get a call are third baseman Damek Tomscha (he's been drafted three times already and hit seven home runs), junior catcher Blake Austin (he hit .290 and threw out 20 runners), junior outfielder Cullen Wacker (.320), junior outfielder Ryan Tella (three homers and 14 stolen bases) and senior first baseman Garrett Cooper (team-high .354 with seven homers). Others may be drafted as well.
The three signees who will likely be drafted are pitcher Keegan Thompson from Cullman High, pitcher Kevin Davis of T.R. Miller High in Brewton and outfielder Anfernee Grier of Russell County High in Seale.
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