A couple years ago, I started to keep up with former Auburn Basketball players after their time in Auburn to see how their professional careers were going. Recently, with the offseason boring me to tears, I decided to take a deep look into what is my second favorite sport on Auburn’s campus: Baseball.
On Tuesday, I took a look at how former Auburn Tigers were faring in the Major Leagues.
Today, we’re going “Down on the Farm” to look at what former Tigers are doing in the Minor Leagues, particularly at the AAA and AA levels.
Starting in 2021, Major League Baseball established the minor league classification system which divides leagues into one of four classes: Triple-A (AAA), Double-A (AA), High-A (A+), and Low-A (A). Today, we will look at the guys currently playing in AAA & AA. In a newly added 3rd part that should be out tomorrow, we will look at the remaining players playing in Low A and High A ball.
Ben Braymer - P, Rochester Red Wings
Ben Braymer played for Auburn in 2016 and pitches for the Washington Nationals AAA affiliate. Ben actually got a cup of coffee in the big leagues last season making 3 appearances, including 1 start going 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA in 7 1⁄3 innings pitched.
19,833rd player in MLB history: Ben Braymer— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) August 29, 2020
- 2 years at LSU-Eunice (D-II JuCo national champions in '15, 12 Ks in 8 IP in championship game; led all of D-II in K's with 138) then transferred to Auburn
- 18th round pick in '16 by WAS
- excellent in AA, struggled in AAA in '19 pic.twitter.com/j3QNipgwz8
This year he has made 5 starts so far for the Red Wings and is 1-3 with a 7.25 ERA. Braymer’s best outing came May 23rd when he went 6 innings giving up 1 run and striking out 3. Based on injury’s on the big club, it sounds like Braymer could possibly get another crack in Washington D.C. really soon.
Martinez says the Nationals are "weighing all the options right now" to figure out how they would fill out the rotation should Strasburg be forced to miss any time. He confirmed 40-man pitchers Ben Braymer and Rogelio Armenteros are among those options.— Matt Weyrich (@ByMattWeyrich) June 2, 2021
Braymer’s Full Stats
5 Starts, 1-3, 22 1⁄3 innings, 25 hits, 18 runs, 18 ER, 14 BB, 18 Ks, 7.25 ERA
Josh Palacios - OF, Buffalo Bisons
Like Braymer, Palacios spent the 2016 season on the Plains and was a 4th Round Draft Pick by the Blue Jays after that season. Earlier this year, he made his MLB debut with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The outfielder spent 10 games in April with the big club before being optioned back to AAA before the start of the minor league season. Palacios is currently on the Injured List and has been since May 10th with a fracture in his hand after being hit by a pitch.
Palacios made quite an early impression for the big club putting together a 4-hit, 4-run performance on April 11th.
Josh Palacios of the @BlueJays is the second player in AL history with 4+ hits and 4+ runs in one of his first 2 career games.— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) April 11, 2021
The other was Wid Conroy, who did so for the 1901 Brewers in Detroit in the first MLB game in Tigers history.
Here’s some footage from a few nights later against the Yankees:
Josh Palacios. Blue Jays #29 prospect.— hashim (@___hash___) April 14, 2021
Out on his front foot on a curveball from Jameson Taillon. Kept his hands back & pokes it up the middle for a 2-run single.
Making the most of his opportunities with Teoscar Hernandez & George Springer on the IL. pic.twitter.com/rScGjtInfC
Palacios Full Stats:
With Toronto: 10 games, .250 batting average, 7-28, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 7 runs, 3 walks, .353 OBP
With Buffalo: 6 games, .300 batting average, 6-20, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 3 runs, 3 walks, .440 OBP
Damek Tomscha - 3B, St. Paul Saints
Of all of the guys on this list, Tomscha was the one guy on this list that I didn’t know anything about prior to doing this. Tomscha is in the Minnesota Twins organization and played for Auburn from 2013-2014 and has been playing primarily in AAA since the 2018 season. He began his season in AA before getting called up AAA 5 games in.
The Iowa native made his return to his home state last week taking on the Iowa Cubs and he hit a pair of solo homers in a 6-5 win on May 29th. He was 4-4 and a triple away from the cycle in that game.
Tomscha Full Stats:
With St. Paul: 16 games, .228 average, 13-57, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 6 runs, 5 walks, .290 OBP
With Wichita: 5 games, .250 average, 4-16, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 4 runs, 2 walks, .368 OBP
Andrew Mitchell - P, Binghamton Rumble Ponies
Mitchell pitched for Auburn from 2016-2018 and is now a member of the New York Mets AA affiliate in Binghamton. He pitched 3 innings in relief last night to pick up his second win of the season, marking back to back appearances where he has picked up the win. He has given up just 4 runs and opponents are hitting just .184 in 8 relief appearances this season.
I found some footage from his time in the Australian Baseball League this past winter but Mitchell is establishing himself as one of the pitching prospects to watch in the Mets organization.
Mitchell Full Stats
8 Games, 2-1, 13 2⁄3 innings, 9 hits, 4 runs, 4 ER, 4 BB, 15 Ks, 2.63 ERA
Gabe Klobosits - P, Harrisburg Senators
Gabe pitched for Auburn during the 2016 and 2017 seasons and is now in the Washington Nationals organization. During his minor league career, his career ERA is a very impressive 1.62 in 56 career appearances across all levels of Minor League baseball. For a 36th Round Draft pick in 2017 (or anywhere), I’d say that’s pretty good. Klobosits is currently in the Senators Bullpen where he hasn’t given up an earned run yet this season.
Klobosits Full Stats
7 Games, 1-1, 9 2⁄3 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 0 ER, 4 BB, 17 Ks, 0.00 ERA, 1 save
Come back for Part 3 of Auburn Baseball in the Pros where we’ll see how guys like Tanner Burns, Davis Daniel and Edouard Julien are faring in the Minor Leagues.