Pair Of Tigers Picked Early In MLB Draft

Auburn juniors Trent Mummey and Hunter Morris were selected in the fourth round of the MLB Draft on Tuesday.

Auburn, Ala.--It was a huge season for the Auburn baseball program as the Tigers won the SEC West, won 42 games, and set a school record with 20 conference wins. On Tuesday a pair of players parlayed their success into being high draft picks as Trent Mummey and Hunter Morris were both selected in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.

Junior pitcher Cole Nelson was selected in the 10th round by the Detroit Tigers while Grant Dayton went in the 11th round to the Florida Marlins and Austin Hubbard went in the 14th round to Tampa Bay.

Taken with the second pick of the fourth round with the 118th selection by the Baltimore Orioles, Mummey became the first player picked from Auburn. Coming on the heels of a disappointing end to the season Monday night in a 13-7 loss to Clemson, Mummey said getting the news today was huge for him.

"I was kind of expecting somewhere around that round," Mummey said. "I was a little surprised at the team that picked me. I haven't really talked to them much. It was exciting that they chose me.

"You always dream about playing professional baseball," he added. "This is just one step closer to fulfilling that dream. As a little kid you grow up watching Major League Baseball and watching all the pro guys play. You go out in your backyard and dream about being one of those guys. It's exciting to have that opportunity. I'm just ready to hopefully take that step forward and join a bunch of other great Auburn players to play in the big leagues."

Undrafted out of high school, Mummey made a huge leap to catch the eyes of scouts while at Auburn his first three seasons. As a freshman he hit an impressive .305 with four home runs and 23 RBI while becoming the everyday center fielder for the Tigers. As a sophomore the power began to show even more as he hit .289 with 15 home runs and 42 RBI, added 12 doubles, and was 17-20 in stolen bases.

In 2010 Mummey put up one of the best seasons in school history maybe for any sport. Missing 28 games because of an ankle injury and dealing with a hamstring problem at the end of the year, the left-hander hit .366 with 17 home runs, 15 doubles and 54 RBI in only 36 games. He also added several highlight reel catches in center field to show his versatility as a player. His defense was rewarded as he made the All-SEC Defensive team as both a sophomore and junior and was awarded the Rawlings Gold Glove for his play in 2009.

Now Mummey is expected to take the next step in his baseball career by signing with the Orioles. Playing through injuries to help the Tigers achieve their goal of playing in the SEC Tournament and NCAA Regional, Mummey said that if he's played his last game at Auburn it's something he'll never forget.

"After the loss last night I've never really had that feeling before in an Auburn uniform," Mummey said. "After every year the season ended it was kind of a disappointment that we didn't make it to the postseason. After last night when we lost in front of all those fans it was really hard to take that Auburn jersey off.

"We had a lot of expectations this year and we wanted to go out a little farther. It was really upsetting last night that we lost, but I really feel like it was a great group of guys that we have on the team that brought out the Auburn family for baseball…it was just really special to get to experience that before the season ended. We brought back the winning tradition to the Auburn baseball program and instilled that to our younger players. They can go out now and know how to win and know what's expected of them."

Hunter Morris had a strong 2010 season for the Auburn Tigers.

Taken with the 84th overall selection by Boston coming out of high school, Morris has put up huge numbers in his three seasons at Auburn. As a freshman he was named the SEC Freshman of the Year and earned Second-Team All-SEC honors after hitting .351 with 11 home runs and 49 RBI in 54 games. Dealing with nagging injuries as a sophomore in 2009, Morris still managed to hit .282 with 12 home runs and 33 RBI. Those numbers paled in comparison to what he did as a junior.

Becoming just the second player in league history to be named the freshman and SEC Player of the Year in a career, joining Stephen Head from Ole Miss, Morris hit .386 with 23 home runs, 18 doubles and 76 RBI to lead the Tigers in each category. His 46 home runs places him fourth in school history. Still despite all those numbers he fell to 129 for the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday. While many were surprised at where he was taken, Morris said it's not something he's concerned with now, he's just ready to get started.

"Every part of baseball is a funny thing," Morris said. "I'm not surprised. I have been through the process before having gone out of high school. I definitely had high hopes that it would happen earlier, but I'm in a good situation. It's a great organization. It's an exciting opportunity. I'm looking forward to seeing what the future has in store."

Part of that future could in back in his hometown of Huntsville, where the Brewers AA team is located. Morris said it's nice to think about being able to play at home, but he doesn't want to make a habit of it.

"That's very exciting, but I would like to do everything I could to not spend much time in Huntsville," Morris said. "I want to be in Milwaukee as fast as possible, but I think I could bring a lot to that part of the organization. A lot of people in Huntsville have followed me and my career for a while now. It will be exciting to get to play in front of those fans here hopefully in the next year or so."

Mummey and Morris were part of a celebrated recruiting class coming into Auburn three years ago. Now both are expected to be gone along with Nelson as the Tigers turn over a new leaf on the baseball diamond next season. He said for him going out the way they did in 2010 makes it special.

"You look at the last three years," Morris said. "The trials and tribulations this team has been through, for us to finish the way we did having such a great year has had a huge impact on my life. For us to be able to put that kind of season together was so exciting. I can't be more pleased with the way things ended up. Obviously I wish we were still playing, but the way this season shaped up was absolutely incredible."

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