AUBURN, Ala. -- Highlighted by Collegiate Baseball National High School Player of the Year Tanner Burns, Auburn baseball's 2017 recruiting class was ranked sixth nationally by Baseball America on Tuesday.
Checking in behind only Vanderbilt, Florida, Arkansas, Arizona State and South Carolina, the selection is the highest for the Tigers by Baseball America since the publication ranked the 2007 class spear-headed by current Auburn head coach Butch Thompson as the fifth best class in the country.
Additionally, Coach 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.
"We're just excited to get premium players to class," Thompson said. "There's a lot of depth in the pitching and some valuable position player pieces from both the high school and Junior College ranks. We're excited to get going."
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).
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
|Carter Bowen||RHP/IF||Cullman, Ala./Cullman HS|
|Tanner Burns||RHP||Decatur, Ala./Decatur HS|
|Cade Evans||IF||Hixson, Tenn./Boyd Buchanan|
|Rhett Fetner||RHP||Roanoke, Ala./Handley HS|
|Peyton Glavine||LHP||Alpharetta, Ga./Blessed Trinity|
|Cody Greenhill||RHP||Russellville, Ala./Russellville HS|
|Chase Hall||C||Roanoke, Ala./Southern Union CC|
|Ryan Hoerter||RHP||Pleasant Prairie, Wisc./Indian Trail Academy|
|Edouard Julien||IF||Quebec City, Quebec/Canada JNT|
|Ford Luttrell||RHP||Madison, Ala./Bob Jones HS|
|Jonathan McKinney||RHP||Marietta, Ga./Southern Union CC|
|Jack Owen||LHP||Trabuco Canyon, Calif./J Serra HS|
|Blake Schilleci||LHP||Birmingham, Ala./Wallace-Hanceville CC|
|Brendan Venter||IF||Flower Mound, Texas/McLennan CC|
|Judd Ward||OF||Russellville, Ala./Russellville HS|
|Steven Williams||C||Albany, Ga./Deerfield-Windsor HS|
|Brett Wright||C||New Caney, Texas/San Jacinto CC|