#9 Auburn Baseball 2020 Preview

Auburn Tigers
Overall Rank: #9
Conference Rank: #4 SEC
 Auburn Logo
Auburn went through an unbelievable roller coaster ride of emotions late in the 2019 season as the Tigers lost their beloved play by play broadcaster Rod Bramblett and his wife Paula on the night of May 25 to a tragic car accident. Head Coach Butch Thompson, the staff, and the players all banded together and went on a very dramatic, inspiring run to the College World Series just a few weeks later.
2019: 38-28, 14-16
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Butch Thompson
Key Departed Players:
Kason Howell, OF, .262 BA, 0 HR, 28 RBI, 14 SB
Edouard Julien, INF, .258 BA, 10 HR, 57 RBI
Will Holland, INF, .246 BA, 9 HR, 32 RBI, 15 SB
Elliott Anderson, P, 4.15 ERA, 7-2 W/L, 65.0 IP, 30 BB, 67 SO
Key Returning Players:
Conor Davis, INF, .290 BA, 8 HR, 36 RBI
Ryan Bliss, INF, .281 BA, 3 HR, 37 RBI, 11 SB
Rankin Woley, INF, .277 BA, 3 HR, 45 RBI
Judd Ward, OF, .272 BA, 5 HR, 34 RBI, 5 SB
Matt Scheffler, C, .260 BA, 2 HR, 28 RBI
Steven Williams, OF, .247 BA, 9 HR, 36 RBI
Jack Owen, P, 2.75 ERA, 4-2 W/L, 68.2 IP, 14 BB, 59 SO
Tanner Burns, P, 2.82 ERA, 4-4 W/L, 79.2 IP, 23 BB, 101 SO
Cody Greenhill, P, 3.45 ERA, 2-3 W/L, 57.1 IP, 18 BB, 44 SO, 12 SV
Brooks Fuller, P, 4.50 ERA, 2-2 W/L, 44.0 IP, 35 BB, 36 SO
A very experienced team returns to the Plains this spring for Coach Thompson and his staff.  The pitching staff will be loaded with Tanner Burns and Jack Owen leading the weekend rotation. Burns was dominant as he struck out 101 batters in 79.2 innings of work and ended 2019 with a 2.82 earned run average. Owen is going to rely a little bit more on his command. He struck out 59 batters in 68.2 innings and only walked an impressive 14 batters. Cody Greenhill will be one of the top closers in the country in 2020 as he had 12 saves and only allowed four homeruns as well. Brooks Fuller made eight starts last season out of his 20 appearances and should take a step forward with his production in 2020 as the likely number three starter. Tim Hudson’s addition as the pitching coach will be a huge asset for the staff as Hudson’s experience from winning 222 games in the majors and playing in the World Series. Conor Davis and Stephen Williams will need to lead the offensive attack and hit over ten homeruns apiece. Ryan Bliss, Rankin Woley, and Judd Ward are also strong run producers that will return in 2020 to create what should be a pretty deep lineup on a nightly basis. The conference home schedule is balanced as the Tigers will host Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Florida, and LSU. The conference road schedule will take them to Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, and Ole Miss. One break for Auburn on the schedule is avoiding defending national champions Vanderbilt.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament