Continuing the recruiting breakdown, here’s a closer look at the position players Auburn signed for the Fall period:
Zach Alvord, 6-0, 180, IF, R/R, South Forsyth HS/Alpharetta, GA –
Probably Auburn’s biggest name in the class. Alvord is the highest rank from PGcrosschecker and could generate the most MLB Buzz. He projects as a middle infielder first and pitcher second (Auburn is keeping him at MI). First began to turn heads at the Perfect Game National Showcase in Minnesota:
Alvord turned in impressive showings on both sides of the plate during that expo, hitting a home run during the showcase game (with a wooden bat, it should be noted), finishing in the top three of the event’s home run derby and clocking a 94 mile-per-hour throw across the infield at shortstop during a workout — a mark that easily puts him in the company of major league infielders. Following the event, Alvord was ranked among the top 10 players in attendance.
To Auburn’s credit we did offer him first, before he started turning heads at the showcase. Hopefully, that will affect his decision come draft time and he will stay loyal to the Tigers. A proven winner with 7 National Titles already, Alvord has always been partial to the Orange and Blue hue:
Alvord’s parents, John and Jan, both went to Auburn, and Zach has been a big fan of the Tigers for as long as he can remember. He’s attended Auburn football and baseball games, and describes the Auburn baseball field as one of the best in the nation.
“I just thought to myself, what if I could be out there some day?” he remarked. “Auburn has always been my No.1 college choice.” He also talked to Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami (Fla.) and Florida before making it official.
He’s already got the tools and the skills to compete on day one. Solid Hitter with an open stance, minimal movement. Will probably be best suited to SS and is noted for his Double Play ability. He has an athletic build and eats fastballs for breakfast, which will is key in the SEC. Draws comparisons to MLB White Sox (and former UGA Bulldog) Gordon Beckham, based on frame, bat speed, and mental makeup. Baseball Beginnings says he would work best as a 3B and would need a stopover in College.
Big, stocky Catcher with a tremendous arm. Clocked at 1.78 seconds for pop-time (catch-to glove-to 2B) and at 85mph (Both records at Perfect Game). Played football for the War Eagles (seriously, that’s the Landmark Christian Mascot). CJP notes his leadership ability behind the plate.
Brooks Beisner, 6-2, 215, OF, R/R, St. Pete Junior College/Port Charlotte, FL
Coverted outfield after playing Catcher in High school. Noted for his contact ability and experience. Will hopefully be able to serve as a stop-gap after the 2010 exodus.
Stafford Booth, 6-2, 190, IF/OF, L/R, Madison Academy/Madison, AL
Projects at 3B. Solid career at Madison Academy and is beginning to turn heads nationally. Played SS in High School, but with his defensive ability and speed, would be better suited at 3B. Noted for his soft hands and quick release, as well as a smooth swing and effortless power. High potential and possible diamond in the rough out of Huntsville.
Tyler Dial, 5-10, 195, IF, L/R, Russell County HS/Phenix City, AL
CJP Notes: "Tyler is a physical middle infielder with a powerful left-handed swing. Defensively, he has shown the ability to play all the infield positions very well. Tyler is a throw-back type player who practices and plays to win every day. We love his competitiveness and we believe that he will be an impact player early in his career." Comes from the Baseball hotbed of Russell County. Not on a ton of radars right now, but that could change when he starts attending showcases and camps.
Jay Gonzalez, 5-11, 170, OF, L/L, Freedom HS/Orlando, FL
An absolute steal for Auburn. Gonzalez brings an added dimension to the Tigers with his speed and quickness. Perfect fit for a lead off hitter role with his ability to bunt and steal. Not a huge power threat, but makes up for it in speed. With the design of Plainsman Park and his tendency to pull balls, could easily be a double or triple machine. Great gap to gap hitter with smooth running motion. Clocked at a 6.55 60 speed (yes, that’s fast). The best thing about Gonzalez seems to be the chip on his shoulder and attitude. He’s not the biggest guy, but plays with tremendous heart. Here’s a great article talking about Gonzalez’s decision to sign with Auburn:
I chose to play for Auburn because it’s a great SEC Baseball Program. I was nervous though when I signed because it was a dream come true, a breakthrough moment for me, and on top of that I became the first one in my family to go to college.
I am excited, just anxious to be out on my own. I’ve visited Auburn a couple of times and I fell in love with the stadium because it had a great baseball atmosphere and I have this great urge to play on that field
He’s already got one big fan already. I’m looking forward to seeing him at Plainsman Park.
Mike Reed, 5-10, 190, IF, R/R, Middleburg HS/Middleburg, FL
Middleburg, Florida is tiny. So when one of their own signs with a major school? It’s a big deal. Just check out the video above (don’t worry about the sound it comes in during the interview). Auburn coach Link Garrett spotted him at a showcase, invited him up to AU and offered him on the spot. Reed accepted right away. Sounds like a solid guy and if he pans out, then commend Garret for spotting him early:
Reed, who has been a four-year starter, will suit up for his last year with the Broncos. He said this might be Middleburg's best team in many years. Last season, Reed batted .432 with 10 doubles, eight home runs, 22 RBI and 14 stolen bases. Presently, Reed (5-9, 185) is weightlifting with the rest of the baseball team three days a week.
He is interested in majoring in business finance at Auburn, and he hopes to be drafted one day and play minor league baseball.
Bronco baseball coach Alan Burnsed said Reed has gotten better every year.
"He's one of the main reasons we have gone to the playoffs the last two years," Burnsed said. "He's a terrific young man and a good student with a 3.7 GPA."
Reed is the first baseball player from Middleburg to sign with a Division I school since Mike Bynum signed with North Carolina in 1996.
Hopefully Auburn will be able to keep all these guys. The season is just around the corner and AUPPL will try to keep up with these future Tigers during their senior seasons.