Auburn Tigers Baseball Preview 2024

Entering our Top 25 College Baseball at #15 is the Auburn Tigers.

Head coach Butch Thompson, who is entering his ninth season at the program’s helm with a record of 256-171-1, In 2023, the Tigers were 34-23 overall with a 17-13 conference record.

Returning, the Tigers will get Bobby “Barrels” Peirce, an outfielder. He announced he was returning for his last season. Pierce was quoted as saying,

“I think this team has a chance to do something special this year, and I wanted to be a part of it,” said Peirce via Twitter. “The momentum and energy surrounding Auburn baseball has never been higher, and I can’t wait to leave it all on the field for one last season. War Eagle!”

He played in 46 games with a ,343 batting average and had 26 TBI’s and 62 hits and scored 43 runs. It is his medical conditions that keep him out of many games and cost him to go undrafted last year.
Joseph Gonxalez , a talented right-handed pitcher, also went undrafted and will return. He garnered many accolades such as:

Named to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List … entered the season rated by D1 Baseball as the No. 20 starting pitcher and No. 28 college prospect for the MLB Draft … also rated by Perfect Game as the No. 64 junior entering the season … started game two vs. Indiana (Feb. 18) and earned the win in 5.0 scoreless innings … he faced one over the minimum and needed just 42 pitches in his outing … was shut down for the remainder of the season with lingering shoulder soreness.

Sophomore catcher Ike Irish (6’2”203lb is an offensive stalwart that reruns form his fantastic first yer which saw him one of two players to play and start in all 58 games … led the team in average (.361), hits (86) and doubles (24) and ranked top 10 in the SEC in each category … his 24 doubles set an Auburn freshman record, were the most among freshmen nationally and were tied for the sixth most in program history, including the most since 2005 … his 86 hits were fourth among freshmen nationally … ranked second on the team in RBI (50) and total bases (130) and third in runs (48) and on-base percentage (.429) … five of his six home runs came in SEC play … led the team with 28 multi-hit games and tied for second with 14 multi-RBI efforts

Incoming is Connor Gatwood, a righty pitcher that was 6-2 with a 2,75 ERA out of Mobile, Alabama and righty Christian Chatterton along with lefty Jackson Sanders.

The 6-foot, 195-pound Chatterton was 6-1 with a 1.27 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 49.2 innings as a junior at Brooks in Killen, Ala. He also batted .369 with six doubles and two home runs.

The 6-foot-3 and 190-pound Sanders had a 2.24 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 34.1 inninom Brookwood in Snellville, Ga., and right-hander Saxon Roberts from Independence in Thompson’s Station, Tenn.

Harris, 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, was 2-2 with a 3.82 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 29.1 innings. Roberts was topping out at 94 on his fastball this summer a year after Tommy John surgery. He also possess a sharp-breaking slider.

More talented arms include right-hander Andreas Alvarez from Northside Christian in Largo, Fla., right-hander Luke Davenport from James Clemens in Madison, Ala., right-hander Eli Driskell from Faith Academy in Mobile, Ala., right-hander Hank Eaton from Kossuth in Corinth, Miss., right-hander Brandon McCraine from Glemwood in Smiths Station, Ala., right-hander Bodie Vail from Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and left-hander Jack Sanderson from Northridge in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alvarez was 6-3 with a 1.41 ERA, one save and 72 strikeouts in 44.2 innings as a junior. Davenport was 8-3 with a 1.07 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 58.2 innings, Driskell had a2.53 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 27.2 innings and Eaton 3-1 with 1.48 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 23.2 innings.

McCraine, who is also a standout hitter, got the final three outs to lead Glenwood to a win over Macon East in the AISA Class AAA state championship game. He also made the game-winning shot at the buzzer to beat Macon East in the basketball state championship game.

His younger brother, Mason, is committed to Auburn in the 2025 class as a left-handed pitcher and standout hitter.

Auburn is also signing a half dozen talented position players led by middle infielder Chris Rembert, who is ranked 122nd by P.G., and catcher Chase Fralick, who is ranked 125th.

Rembert batted .464 with 10 doubles, six home runs and 31 RBI as a junior while Fralick hit .475 with seven doubles, eight home runs and 56 RBI.

The Tigers are also adding infielder Anthony Tralongo from American Heritage in Plantation, Fla., infielder Addison Klepsch from Del Norte in San Diego, Calif., infielder/catcher Tanner Waldrop from Auburn (Ala.) High and outfielder/left-handed pitcher Taft Middleton from Brookstone in Columbus, Ga.

Addison Klepsch batted .365 with 11 doubles, five home runs and 19 RBI. He also has 23 stolen bases.
The baseball future appears to be bright at Auburn.

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