AUBURN, Ala. (EETV)- In a historical MLB draft for Auburn Baseball, eight Auburn Tigers were drafted to Major League Baseball programs over the three days of the 2022 draft. This marks the second most in the school's history and most over 20 rounds. In seven years under head coach, Butch Thompson, 36 players have been drafted, including 16 taken in the first round.
Dothan, Ala. native, Blake Burkhalter, will be keeping it close to home next season. In the second round, with the 76th overall draft pick, the Atlanta Braves selected the right-handed pitcher. Burkhalter was the first relief pitcher snagged in this year's draft.
This past season, Burkhalter was ranked second in the country with 16 saves this year, tied for the second most in program history. He was named to the Second Team All-America by the American Baseball Coaches Association, College Baseball Foundation and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, Second Team All-SEC and was a finalist for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award.
In his 51 collegiate career relief appearances as a Tiger, Burkhalter turned in a 3.01 ERA and struck out 104 batters in 71.2 innings.
Mason Barnett was the first of the Tigers to get picked up on Day 2 of the draft. The right-handed pitcher was drafted by the Kansas City Royals with the 87th overall pick.
Barnett was a key piece to the Auburn puzzle in their journey to Omaha this past Spring, as he posted a 0.93 ERA and struck out 15 batters in 9.2 innings in two starts against UCLA and Oregon State in the regional and super regional rounds. His career high 10 strike out performance against the Bruins earned him an honor on the Auburn Regional All-Tournament Team.
In 19 appearances and 14 starts this season, the Cartersville, GA native went 3-3 with a 4.38 ERA and struck out 83 batters in 63.2 innings.
The future is looking brighter in Baltimore. With the 137th pick, the Baltimore Orioles selected pitcher Trace Bright.
The righty started every weekend of the 2022 season at the mound, and led Auburn in strikeouts with 94 and 80.2 innings pitched. Bright posted a 5-4 record and 5.13 ERA, and did not allow an earned run in his first three starts of the season and turned in three straight quality outings from Feb. 26-Mar. 13.
The Montgomery, Ala. native was responsible for the victory over Stanford during Auburn's first College World Series appearance in 25 years. Bright held Stanford to two runs in 5.0 innings and struck out a record eight batters without issuing a walk.
Auburn's first baseman and powehouse hitter is headed to Hollywood. Sonny DiChiara was selected 148th overall by the Los Angeles Angels.
The SEC Player of the Year and All-American made his mark in just one season as a Tiger. DiChiara finished the season as the SEC leader in average (.383), on-base percentage (.549) and slugging percentage (.777). His 22 home runs this season were good for fourth best in the SEC and second most in program history, one shy of Hunter Morris.
The Hoover boy drew 68 walks this year, the second most in the country and in the team's single-season history, and reached base in all but two games.
The Colorado Rockies scooped up Carson Skipper with the 326th overall pick in the 11th round.
The left-handed pitcher spent four years as an Auburn player, and in his senior season, Skipper registered career highs in nearly every category as a senior, including appearances (27), wins (six), innings (58.2) and strikeouts (70). In 70 career appearances, Skipper earned 11 wins and struck out 157 batters in 132.1 innings.
Hayden Mullins was drafted by the Boston Red Sox with the 369th overall pick in the 12th round. The left-handed pitcher.
In 11 appearances and eight starts as a junior with the orange and blue, Mullins went 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA. He moved into the starting rotation in March and ranked second on the team with a 3.29 ERA in seven SEC starts, before suffering an injury.
Blake Rambusch, the third Auburn player of day three was taken by the Seattle Mariners with the 456th pick in the 15th round. The infielder spent one year as a Tiger after transferring from Samford.
In his first season in an Auburn uniform he was one of two players to start in every game and hit out of the leadoff spot in 62 of the 65 contests, leading the Tigers and fifth in the SEC with 87 hits. Rambusch ranked second on the team with a .327 average.
Additionally, Rambusch was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team at the third baseman position. The redshirt junior also led the team and ranked tied for third in the league with 16 stolen bases, the most by an Auburn player since 2016.
Rounding out the group of eight MLB bound Tigers was infielder Brody Moore, who was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 517th overall pick in the 17th round.
The shortstop started in the position in 64 games and turned in a .982 fielding percentage to lead the Tigers to a program record in the category. Moore ranked fourth on the team with a .291 average and turned in career highs in runs (46), hits (74), doubles (12), home runs (five), RBI (38) and stolen bases (six).