Russellville, Ala.--One of the top class of 2017 baseball prospects in Alabama, speedy outfielder Judd Ward made a visit to Auburn Tigers recently to take part in a baseball camp and it didn’t take long for him to make the decision to commit to Butch Thompson and the Tigers after spending much of the day in and around Plainsman Park.
A 6-1, 190-pounder who bats left and throws right, Ward also strongly considered another SEC program, but he tells Inside The Auburn Tigers that in the end there was only one choice for him and that was Auburn.
“They invited me down there and my travel coach told me they were going to offer me,” Ward said of Auburn. “That’s where I really wanted to be with that coaching staff so I committed.
“The only other school I considered was Mississippi State,” he added. “Auburn was the top school I really wanted to go to and when I got that offer I just jumped on it.”
One of the biggest reasons Ward felt at home at Auburn was his bond with Thompson along with assistant coaches Brad Bohannon and Doug Sisson. Ward said the group on the Plains right now made it a very easy decision for him to choose the Tigers.
“They are incredible,” Ward said of the new Auburn staff. “They are nice people and they exactly what they’re talking about. They are serious about things and they’re really trying to get better.”
Helping the Golden Tigers to the 5A state title as a sophomore, Ward had a season to remember on the way to earning All-State honors. Leading the team with a .504 batting average, Ward had four home runs, six triples, and 12 doubles while adding 68 hits, 58 runs scored, and 49 RBI while striking out just nine times for the year.
Saying his strengths are making contact and his speed, Ward said having a season like he had last year was just a dream come true and made it a year to remember.
“It felt great,” Ward said. “It just gave me a lot of confidence as a player.”
Ward is the second Russellville player to commit to the Tigers, joining teammate and fellow junior pitcher Cody Greenhill in choosing Auburn. Last season Greenhill was 7-1 with a 2.14 ERA and was a perfect 4-0 in the postseason. Ward said Auburn is getting a very good player in his teammate.
“He’s real good,” Ward said of Greenhill. “He’s a hard worker and he doesn’t care, he’ll come right at you.”
Ward and Greenhill are part of a big group of players returning for the Golden Tigers as they look to repeat as 5A champions in 2016.