AUBURN, Ala. -
Junior pitcher Casey Mize has been tabbed the No. 5 MLB Draft prospect entering the 2018 season, D1Baseball.com announced Tuesday.
The Auburn right-hander is the fourth rated collegiate prospect and is joined by three other SEC pitchers in the top six. A complete list of D1 Baseball’s top 100 prospects can be found here.
“Casey had an exception sophomore campaign for both Auburn University and Team USA,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “I believe this prediction is accurate due to Casey’s special presence and skill on the mound. Casey is much like his teammates and college players all over the country in that he works hard every day to simply become a better version of himself. We are all excited about the 2018 season.”
The recognition for Mize comes after a summer with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team during which he went 1-0 and didn’t allow an earned run in his two appearances with the club.
The Springville, Ala., native also had a breakout season for the Tigers in 2017 when he posted an 8-2 record with a 2.04 ERA, which ranked third in the SEC and 25th in the country. Mize struck out 109 batters – the most by an Auburn pitcher since 1999 – and issued only nine walks en route to leading the NCAA with a 12.11 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Additionally, after throwing 83.2 innings, he ranked 15th in the country with 11.73 strikeouts per nine innings.
Mize struck out 10 or more batters in five of his 12 starts a year ago and totaled nine strikeouts in a pair of other trips to the mound. He didn’t allow an earned run in six of 13 appearances and tossed a pair of complete games in a regular-season win against South Carolina and NCAA Regional victory against Tennessee Tech. Nine of his 12 starts were quality outings, and arguably his best performance of the season came when he pitched seven shutout innings and allowed only two hits with 12 strikeouts and one walk in a 2-1 win at Texas A&M on Apr. 7.
Mize and the Tigers are scheduled to begin fall practice on Thursday, Oct. 5. Fans are encouraged to come out to the newly-renovated Plainsman Park and get a glimpse of the 2018 team.
Season tickets can be reserved with a Billy Hitchcock Tigers Unlimited donation, and more information be found here. Additionally, fans are encouraged to attend the team’s “Select a Seat” event to be held in Plainsman Park following the Auburn vs. Ole Miss football game on Saturday, Oct. 7.