Cullman, Ala.--A cornerstone for the Auburn Tigers program during his four seasons on the Plains, going 19-10 in three seasons with a redshirt in 2016 following Tommy John surgery, pitcher Keegan Thompson got the call of a lifetime on Tuesday when the Chicago Cubs made him a third round selection in the MLB Amateur Draft.
The same is true of walk-on center fielder Jonah Todd, who was picked in the sixth round by the Los Angeles Angels on day two of the draft.
Coming back front in 2017, Thompson went 7-4 with an ERA of just 2.01 for the Tigers and with some key run support could have easily won 10 games. Finishing with 75 strikeouts and just 17 walks in 93 1/3 innings, Thompson allowed opponents a batting average of just .200 for the year.
Finishing strong, he put together two of his best performances of the year when Auburn needed him the most.
In the last regular season series at home against Ole Miss, Thompson didn’t allow a hit in six innings and struck out eight while walking two before a weather delay forced him out of the game. Two weeks later he was on the mound in Tallahassee in the first game of the NCAA Regional, allowing just two runs on four hits and striking out nine in eight innings of work.
Todd led Auburn with five triples while also adding 13 doubles and 37 RBI from his leadoff spot.
Leading Auburn with a .376 batting average, good enough for second in the SEC and 30th nationally, Todd was perhaps the story of the year for the Tigers. With an on-base percentage of .460, Todd reached base in 57 of 63 games played this season and scored a team-high 56 runs. Throw in his stellar defensive play in center field that included a diving game-saving catch at Georgia and you have a player that came out of nowhere to become the 175th overall selection in the draft.
Todd had 27 multi-hit games to lead Auburn, including six three-hit contests and four three-hit games. During the season he also had a team-long 16-game hitting streak.