The Auburn Tigers Baseball Program produces no shortage of next-level talent. There are 53 Tiger alumni who made it to professional baseball’s highest level, six of them are playing currently. These guys are Ben Braymer, Garrett Cooper, Grant Dayton, Josh Donaldson, Casey Mize, and Trey Wingenter. Additionally, there are 19 former Auburn players currently playing in the various levels of the Minor Leagues. Out of those 19, the top three to keep an eye on are Damek Tomscha in the Chicago White Sox organization, Josh Palacios in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, and Keegan Thompson in the Chicago Cubs organization.
Ben Braymer, LHP:
Ben was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 18th round back in 2016. He made his big-league debut in August 2020. He appeared in three games last season, recording seven and one-third innings pitched, eight strikeouts, and only five walks. This young pitcher shows a lot of potential for Washington’s pitching staff.
Garrett Cooper, 1B:
Garett was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the sixth round in 2013. He was traded to the New York Yankees where he made his Major League debut, then he was traded to the Miami Marlins where he plays currently. Cooper has a career batting average of .281, 162 hits, 78 runs batted in, and 21 home runs. He was one of Miami’s best hitters in 2020.
Grant Dayton, LHP:
Grant “G Money” Dayton has been around for a while. He was taken in the 11th round by the Florida Marlins in 2010. He was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016, then to the Atlanta Braves in 2019. Dayton is a Brave currently. Grant’s career earned run average is 3.02 and he has 105 strikeouts. He has only given up 30 earned runs, 17 home runs, and 33 walks. Dayton will be a valuable piece in Atlanta’s bullpen in 2021.
Josh Donaldson, 3B:
Josh was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2007. He has had the best career out of any current player out of Auburn. He was traded to the Oakland Athletics in 2008, he made his big league debut in an A’s unifrom. Oakland traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014. Toronto sent him to Cleveland in 2018. He signed with Atlanta in free agency in 2019, then signed with Minnesota in 2020, where he is currently. Donaldson was the American League MVP in 2015. He is also a three-time all star. He has a career batting average of .272, 1,066 hits, 656 runs batted in, and 225 home runs.
Casey Mize, RHP:
Casey was drafted number one overall by the Detriot Tigers in 2018. He made his Major League debut last August. He pitched 28 and one-third innings, recorded 26 strikeouts, and the batting average against him was only .252. Those are not bad numbers for a rookie. Mize will be a valuable piece of Detriot’s rotation for years to come.
Trey Wingenter, RHP:
Trey was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 17th round in the 2015 draft. Trey made his debut in August 2018. He has 70 career innings pitched, 99 strikeouts, and has only allowed 39 walks. Wingenter will be a key piece of the Padres’ bullpen as they look to contend for the National League Pennant in 2021.