AUBURN, Ala. -
Auburn baseball’s 2017 recruiting class has been ranked No. 4 in the nation by D1 Baseball, the publication announced Friday afternoon. The ranking is the Tigers’ highest in program history and comes a little more than a month after the class also received top-10 recognition from Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.
Auburn, which checked in behind only Vanderbilt, Florida and Arkansas in the poll, cracks the top five for the second consecutive season, and the No. 4 overall ranking eclipses fifth-ranked classes from 1996, 2007 and 2016 as the highest in program history.
"This is a tremendous accomplishment for our class,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “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.”
Coach Thompson has inked 11 top-10 recruiting classes since 2003, including three of Auburn’s top-four classes. His inaugural class as the Auburn skipper appeared at No. 5 in the Collegiate Baseball poll a season ago, while he also spear-headed the 2007 class that was ranked No. 5 by Baseball America.
The Tigers’ incoming class is made up of 12 freshmen and four junior college transfers with a strong emphasis placed on the battery -- 12 of 16 newcomers are either pitchers or catchers.
Auburn had five freshmen who heard their names called in the 2017 MLB First Year Player Draft elect to enroll in school. The list includes Steven Williams (New York Yankees -- 35th Round), Ryan Hoerter (Pittsburgh Pirates -- 36th Round), Tanner Burns (New York Yankees -- 37th Round), Peyton Glavine (Los Angeles Angels -- 37th Round) and Edouard Julien (Philadelphia Phillies -- 37th Round).
“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," Thompson added.
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 and was named the Collegiate Baseball National High School Player of the Year, was the highest-rated player to enroll in school, and Williams was rated No. 114 overall.
To go along with his national 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.
Season tickets for the 2018 season can be reserved with a Billy Hitchcock Tigers Unlimited donation, and information can be found here. Tigers Unlimited members have the opportunity to retain their seats from year to year and are eligible for upgrading seats based on availability. Information on renewing season tickets will be sent in early November.