The Auburn baseball program is led by an experienced coaching staff that consistently produces the top recruiting classes in the nation. Coming off of one of the best seasons in program history in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the Tigers from building off of that momentum in 2020.
In addition to the program’s recruiting abilities, Auburn baseball is also well known for its player development efforts. In the past few years, 31 pitchers that were undrafted out of high school went on to be selected in the MLB draft after playing for Auburn.
To further assist with player development, the Auburn baseball program recently partnered with TrackMan. With video and radar technology, the data analytics system calculates a variety of metrics including exit velocity, speed, spin rate, extension, and many more.
The Auburn Tigers reside in the SEC West, playing schools like Ole Miss, Texas A&M, and LSU for in-conference play. In one of the top baseball conferences at the Division 1 level, the Tigers typically have a very challenging schedule.
With consistent reinvestments from the university and generous donations from boosters and alumni, Auburn is able to maintain a level of excellence with their baseball facilities. As a member of the baseball team, players will have all of the resources they need to have success.
Heading into his sixth season as the head coach of the Auburn Tigers, Butch Thompson is hoping his team can pick right up from the early success they had in the 2020 season. Following a College World Series appearance in 2019, the Auburn baseball program returned seven starting position players and nine pitchers with 30+ innings.
In 28 years of coaching at the collegiate level, Thompson brings along a diverse coaching experience. While a majority of his coaching has taken place within the SEC, Thompson has also held positions at the junior college, NAIA, and Division III classifications. With a variety of experience, Thompson has led his teams to 17 collegiate postseasons, 8 College World Series appearances, and a NAIA National Championship.
Thompson has had two separate stints with Auburn baseball. He was the assistant coach for the Tigers from 2006 – 2008, before departing to Mississippi State for 6 years to serve as the associate head coach and pitching coach. While at Mississippi State, Thompson won an American Baseball Coaches Association National Assistant Coach of the Year. The Auburn baseball program welcomed back Thompson in 2015 as the head coach.
Throughout his coaching career, Thompson has helped 27 players earn DI All-American selections and 39 All-Conference selections. Additionally, 14 pitchers have gone on to play at the MLB level, eight of which have been since 2014. This shows that Thompson’s coaching staff has the ability to transform players with their player development efforts.
In addition to his expertise with pitching, Thompson is also an extremely effective recruiter. Considered one of the top recruiters in the country, 12 of the recruiting classes Thompson has been responsible for have been ranked in the top 10 by either Perfect Game or Baseball America.
Auburn Baseball Facilities
In close proximity to the Auburn football stadium, Samford Stadium-Hitchcock Field at Plainsman Park has been home to the Auburn baseball program for the last 67 seasons. Seating just under 4,100 fans, the ballpark has been recognized as one of the top college baseball venues in all of Division 1.
Plainsman Park also houses the Tigers’ clubhouse, which features a locker room, team lounge, offices for the coaching staff, equipment room, training areas, and an indoor hitting tunnel.
Since the initial renovations in 1996, the university has continued to reinvest in Plainsman Park in the form of additions, updates, and renovations. Some of these include the addition of a video board, an improved sound system, upgraded chair back seats, dugout extensions, and outfield wall padding improvements.
Some of the most significant renovations occurred in 2013 and 2014 with a generous donation from the Hudson family. With the $1 million donation, several areas within Plainsman Park were upgraded including the locker room, clubhouse, athletic training room, and equipment room. Meeting rooms, new offices for the coaching staff, and an alumni room were also added with this donation.
The Auburn baseball program also trains out of the John H. Watson Fieldhouse. Previously a football specific facility, it was recently transformed into a weight and conditioning training facility with a $1.5 million dollar renovation. In addition to over 30 weight platforms and a 10,000 square foot turf area, the facility also contains a nutrition area with fresh fruit, customizable shakes, and a variety of other healthy snacks.
If the nutrition bar within the John H. Watson Fieldhouse isn’t enough, student-athletes at Auburn have their own dining facility called the wellness kitchen. Operated by registered dietitians, student-athletes are provided with meal choices to help fuel them for success.
Auburn Baseball Alumni
The Auburn Tigers currently have 4 alumni that are playing at the Major League level, including, Garrett Cooper, Josh Donaldson, Grant Dayton, and Trey Wingeter. There are another 17 players in the Minor Leagues ranging all the way from rookie ball to Triple A.
The Auburn baseball program has also produced a few notable players that have had long and successful careers in the MLB. Some of these players include Frank Thomas, Tim Hudson, Bo Jackson, and David Ross.
Get free access to the full Auburn baseball program evaluation through the TeamFacts tool, which contains a variety of recruiting metrics for every NCAA baseball program. Some of the metrics include transfers, redshirts, player retention, academic majors, and many more.