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Yankees take Auburn P Conner Kendrick in 9th round of MLB Draft

Conner Kendrick was one of the best pitchers in the SEC in 2013.

Todd Van Emst photo

The New York Yankees selected Auburn left-handed pitcher Conner Kendrick in the 9th round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Friday. Kendrick was the second Tiger taken on Day 2 of the draft, as the Milwaukee Brewers took first baseman Garrett Cooper in the sixth round.

Kendrick, a junior, has a year of eligibility remaining and will have to decided between the Yankees and returning to Auburn for one last college season.

The JUCO transfer from Northwest Florida State CC broke out in his first season on the Plains. Kendrick began the season in the bullpen, and after several stellar performances, he earned the Friday night starting job. He compiled a 5-3 record and led the Tigers with a 2.13 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 80 1/3 innings pitched. Opposing hitters batted .259 against the 6'0 195-pound southpaw.

Kendrick's ERA ranked 12th in the SEC, and his strikeouts were good for 15th in the conference. He only allowed 19 earned runs, ranking ninth.

If he decides to come back, Kendrick will either be Auburn's No. 1 or No. 2 starting pitcher in 2014. Whether or not that happens, we'll just have to wait and see, but we're not holding our breath.