Sanders Drafted In Fifth Round By Rockies

Joseph Sanders talks about being drafted by Colorado and his thoughts on Auburn.

Millbrook, Ala.--Just like any other kid growing up playing the game of baseball, Auburn third baseman Joseph Sanders had dreams of one day being drafted and playing professional baseball. On Wednesday that dream became a reality when Sanders was taken in the fifth round with the 151st overall selection by the Colorado Rockies.

"When I worked out in Colorado I immediately felt that if I got drafted then Colorado is where I want to go," Sanders tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I just fell in love with the town when I went. I had a great time and a good workout and enjoyed all the people there."

The news on Wednesday put an end to two months of stress for Sanders after he was hit in the face by a pitch on April 21 in a game against Samford. Out until the final series of the year against Alabama, Sanders still managed to hit .320 with 19 home runs and 55 RBI for 2008. Still he says he wasn't sure he had done enough to get drafted high until the call came.

"It has been real stressful," Sanders says. "I have been going around doing workouts because of my jaw and it has been one big stress ball pretty much. I have just been waiting to see where I would be going. It was a huge relief on my shoulders when I finally got the call."

Because of question marks concerning his broken saw suffered late in the season, Sanders had to travel to several major league cities to work out for teams. He went to Colorado, Milwaukee, Houston, New York and Detroit to show teams he was ready to go. He notes that was something he'll never forget.

"It was unbelievable," Sanders says. "I got treated first class the whole time. It was nice being in a big league park and seeing what all they get and the surroundings. The people in town love their teams."

Just a junior, Sanders has the option to return to Auburn if he doesn't get the offer he's looking for from the Rockies. The chances of that happening are not very good though admits Sanders.

"Pretty much I still have some thinking to do," Sanders says. "But I would say pretty much it's not going to happen."

If 2008 was his last in an Auburn uniform, Sanders will leave with plenty of fond memories of the place that made him the baseball player and the man he is today.

"Auburn made me grow and mature as a person more than anything," Sanders says. "I really enjoyed my experience there. I love playing baseball there in front of all the fans. It was a great atmosphere to grow up in. It's the best of baseball."

In addition to Sanders, Auburn has seen two signees for the 2010 season drafted early as shortstop Nick Franklin from Lake Brantley High in Florida was taken in the first round by Seattle and catcher Luke Bailey from Troup County High in LaGrange, Ga. was taken in the fourth round by Tampa Bay.

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