AN NCAA BID
No, it’s not out of the question that Auburn could sneak into the NCAA tournament based on RPI alone.
However, that’s unlikely. Yes, the precedent has been set before. Auburn managed to sneak in during Tom Slater’s first year and Arkansas got in last year. In fact, since the NCAA switched to the 64 team format in 1999 an SEC has managed to make the NCAA tournament without making the SEC tourney in 6 of the last 10 years:
1999: Kentucky (SEC 5th Seed/No NCAA), South Carolina (SEC 3rd Seed/No NCAA)
2000: Kentucky (Made SEC/Missed NCAA) UGA (Made SEC/Missed NCAA)
2001: Ole Miss (Missed SEC/Made NCAA)
2002: Ole Miss (Made SEC/Missed NCAA)
2003: Vanderbilt (Made SEC/Missed NCAA)
2004: Mississippi State (Missed SEC/Made NCAA)
2005: Auburn (Missed SEC/Made NCAA)
2006: Mississippi State (Missed SEC/Made NCAA), LSU (Made SEC/Missed NCAA)
2007: Florida (Made SEC/Missed NCAA), Tennessee (Made SEC/Missed NCAA)
2008: Arkansas (Missed SEC/Made NCAA)
But the rest of the NCAA might just be too strong. So if Auburn keeps the season going, we’ll have to find out on Selection day.
The guys should be busy this summer playing in different collegiate summer leagues. Last year we had a ton of guys who used the offseason to hone their skills.
There are 8 different leagues that make up the NACSB: The Atlantic, Cape Cod, Prospect, Florida, Valley, Southern, New York, and Great Lakes. Probably the biggest and most well know summer league. However, there are a ton of others.
Most of leagues start within a month or so and we’ll see where everyone ends up.
THE MLB DRAFT
A question that gets asked alot by Auburn fans: Is Hunter Morris coming back?
The answer? He doesn’t really have a choice. He’s not eligible for the 2009 draft.
In order to be drafted a player must fit the following criteria:
- Be a resident of the United States, Canada, or a U.S. territory such as Puerto Rico. Players from other countries are not subject to the draft, and can be signed by any team.
- Have never signed a major or minor league contract.
- High school players are eligible only after graduation, and if they have not attended college.
- Players at four-year colleges are eligible after completing their junior years, or after their twenty-first birthdays. The exception to this is Division III schools, where players can be drafted before their junior year.
- Junior and community college players are eligible to be drafted at any time.
The following players on Auburn’s current roster are eligible for the upcoming MLB Draft:
Paul Burnside (P/SR)
Grant Dayton (P/So) (Grant’s Birthday is 11/25/87, so he’ll be 21 by draft time)
Austin Hubbard (P/JR)
Mike Hurst (P/Jr)
Ryan Jenkins (C/Sr)
Ben Jones (OF/Sr)
Bradley Ray (OF/Jr)
Joseph Sanders (IF/Jr)
Scott Shuman (Jr/P)*
Taylor Thompson (Jr/P)
Kris West (Sr/P)
That means that guys like Justin Hargett, Brian Fletcher, and Hunter Morris, will all be back.
Scott Shuman was previously drafted out of High School by the Brewers. He joins Hunter Morris (Red Sox), Kevin Patterson (White Sox), and Adam Purdy (Twins) as current Auburn players who were previously drafted.
Of course the MLB Draft could affect Auburn’s incoming draft class:
2009 Auburn Baseball Signees
(Name Ht. Wt. Pos. B/T Previous School Hometown)
Luke Bailey 6-0 195 C R/R Troup County HS LaGrange, GA
Justin Bryant 5-11 175 RHP/IF R/R Itawamba CC Oneonta, AL
Garrett Bush 6-5 190 RHP/C R/R Stanton Prep HS Jacksonville, FL
Nick Franklin 6-1 175 IF S/R Lake Brantley HS Longwood, FL
Cody Martin 6-2 200 IF L/R Stephens County HS Toccoa, GA
Patrick Merkling 6-1 170 LHP L/L Etowah HS Woodstock, GA
Cole Nelson 6-7 230 LHP L/L Des Moines Area CC Edina, MN
Patrick Savage 6-2 210 IF/OF R/R Greater Atlanta Christian Suwanee, GA
Creede Simpson 6-2 180 OF/IF R/R Northwest Florida State College Auburn, AL
Slade Smith 6-2 185 RHP R/R Fort Payne HS Fort Payne, AL
Ryan Welke 6-4 195 C R/R Rickards HS Tallahassee, FL
As all of these guys are eligible for the draft.
Last year Auburn lost Tyler Stovall (Braves) and Ryan Upchurch (White Sox) to the draft.
This year, the hot name is Luke Bailey, a projected 1st Round pick, but seeing as how he is recovering from Tommy John surgery, he might wait out the MLB, sign with Auburn (and possibly redshirt)