Derek Varnadore became the first Auburn player taken in the 2012 Major League Draft on Tuesday. The Auburn senior was drafted by the New York Yankees in the ninth round.
The right-handed pitcher was 4-7 with a 4.93 ERA in 2012. He was the 2011 ace with a 3.68 ERA and a 6-3 record. He had 137 strike outs in his two years at Auburn and held opposing batters to a 2.72 batting average.
Varney was picked in the 17th round last year by the Florida Marlins but he decided to come back and give Auburn one more year.
Sophomore Ryan Tella was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 11th round. The sophomore out fielder was one of the top hitters in the SEC finishing fourth in the league with a .360 batting average. An All-SEC Second Team selection, he finished among the conference leaders in seven different offensive categories.
So far the Tigers have lost three top signees to the MLB draft. Colin Rodgers, a left-handed pitcher from Baton Rouge, La., was the 100th overall pick of the Kansas City Royals. And on Monday Outfielder David Dahl and infielder Addison Russell were drafted in the first round.
Dahl, an outfielder from Oak Mountain High School, was the 10th pick by the Colorado Rockies and Russell, a shortstop from Pace, Fla., was the 11th pick by the Oakland Athletics.
Both of these guys will most likely sign to play professionally while Rodgers may wait till July 13 to decide on signing with the Royals or coming to Auburn.
Auburn is now tied with Arkansas (second place) in the SEC for having at least one player selected in the MLB Draft every year since 1975. Georgia is at the top of that list with their streak dating one year longer to 1974.
As an Auburn Baseball fan, this is always a happy and at the same time, a frustrating time of the year.
While it is always good to see seniors like Derek Varnadore achieve their dreams of signing a professional contract, it's also frustrating to see good players snatched up before they finish their college careers.
I just hope Tella will follow Varney's lead and come back another year. Lord knows we need him.