Oct. 1, 2013
Josh Donaldson led the Oakland A's to their second-straight AL West title.
AUBURN, Ala. - Three former Auburn baseball players helped their respective Major League Baseball teams reach the 2013 Postseason. Josh Donaldson (Oakland), Tim Hudson (Atlanta) and David Ross (Boston) have all contributed to division-winning teams this season.
Donaldson has been the everyday third baseman for the Oakland Athletics, who captured the American League West title for the second-straight year. In 158 games this season, Donaldson put up stellar numbers for the A's, batting .301 with 24 home runs and 93 RBIs. He heads into the playoff on a hot streak as he was named American League Player of the Month for September, hitting .337 with eight doubles, five homers and 16 RBIs in the regular season's final month. He also had a 28-game on-base streak that spanned parts of August and September, the longest by an Athletic in five years. Donaldson ranks sixth in the AL in on-base percentage (.384), ninth in slugging (.499) and seventh in OPS (.883). He was a supplemental first-round pick by the A's out of Auburn in 2007.
Hudson, in his ninth season with the Atlanta Braves, was part of a team that ran away with the National League East title, the Braves' first division title since 2005. He was 8-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 21 starts this season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in a July 24 game against the Mets. Hudson struck out 95 batters and walked just 36 in 131.1 innings pitched, and in that game against the Mets, he recorded the 5,000th all-time major league strikeout by a former Auburn pitcher. Hudson is in his 15th MLB season after being picked by the A's in the sixth round in 1997, and he is the all-time leader in MLB pitching wins among former SEC pitchers with a career record of 205-111.
Ross, who was Hudson's battery-mate at Auburn, signed with the Red Sox as a free agent over the offseason and played 36 games for the American League East champions. He batted .216 with four homers and 10 RBI for the season. This is the fifth team to reach the playoffs with Ross as part of the roster (2004 Dodgers, 2008 Red Sox, 2010 & 2012 Braves). He was 3-for-4 with 2 RBI as the Braves' starting catcher in last year's National League Wild Card loss to the Cardinals.
Postseason play begins Tuesday night with the National League Wild Card game (Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh) and continues Wednesday with the AL Wild Card (Tampa Bay vs. Cleveland). Division Series action gets underway Thursday in the National League as the Braves face the L.A. Dodgers, and the St. Louis Cardinals will play host to the Wild Card winner. The ALDS begins Friday with the Red Sox taking on the AL Wild Card winner and the A's facing the Detroit Tigers.
A total of 29 former SEC players are part of teams that qualified for the MLB postseason. Auburn was one of five schools with at least three former players on playoff teams.