Auburn, Ala.--A talented player at Oak Grove High and later at Marion Military Institute, 6-0, 180 outfielder Jonah Todd is a man of few words but so far he’s letting his play do the talking for the Auburn Tigers.
The 2016 Alabama Community College Conference Defensive Player of the Year when he was perfect in 96 outfield chances with three assists, Todd also batted .411 with 42 runs scored, 14 doubles and five stolen bases.
Handling the bat well and playing good defense in the outfield, the left-hander has done a good job of putting himself in the mix for playing time, said Coach Butch Thompson.
“What Jonah has done for us, he hasn’t come out of nowhere,” the second-year coach said. “He had a solid fall, but since January he’s just one of those two or three players that has stepped up out of the shadow and made our entire coaching staff and I think even his teammates pay attention to his game.
The reason why I think he fits in so many categories is that you’re talking about a guy that can defend in center field,” he added “Somebody who can defend in the center of the field in baseball is a premium. You’ve also got a short, compact stroke and a bat-handler from the left-side. His at-bats have been really solid. His approach is great and he’s got a very true arm in the outfield. We feel like he can play all three outfield positions. All of his skill package of being able to run, throw, hit and defend has made us all pay attention to him.”
A soft-spoken player who would rather be behind the scenes, Todd said he’s excited to be in the mix for playing time heading into the season and is just focused on playing his game.
“It’s all about good defense for me,” Todd said. “That and just trying to hit to the opposite field, take the ball the other way. I’m a good contact hitter.”
Growing up just outside of Birmingham in Bessemer, Todd was a standout at Oak Grove High. A two-time 3A all-state selection, including as a senior when he hit .405 and went 9-0 on the mound with an impressive 0.25 ERA, the junior said for him playing at Auburn means living out a dream.
“Ever since I was a little kid,” Todd said. “Playing in the SEC is huge.”
Saying that he’s trying to bring his "A" game every day to try to earn a starting spot in a very crowded outfield, Todd will be a player to watch when the Tigers take the field against George Washington in a four-game series to open the season on Friday.
“I’m just excited to get it going,” Todd said. “I don’t have too many nerves right now, but probably a couple of days before I’ll be nervous. Right now I’m not thinking too much about it.”