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College  | Story  | 3/22/2018

Quick Take: Auburn

Vincent Cervino     
Photo: Auburn Athletics

Perfect Game College Player Database | Quick Take: Clemson | Quick Take: NC State

During the season Perfect Game scouts will be traveling to some of the top series to watch the very best players in college baseball. Those observations, captured with both written notes and video, will be shared in the College Player Database as linked above, notes that can also be accessed on the players' individual PG profile pages. Throughout the season select reports will be shared in feature format to promote the players, the teams and college baseball as a whole.

Auburn Tigers

What Happened: Auburn opened SEC play with a huge series victory over Texas A&M as the Tigers climbed into the top 10 at No. 9 and showed off one of the most well-rounded teams in the country. The Aggies salvaged game three of the series thanks to Mitchell Kilkenny, but righthander Casey Mize was brilliant on Friday night and the offense came on late Saturday to wrap up the series victory for Auburn. 

Carrying Tool: Offensive depth. From 1-9 in the lineup Auburn has hitters that can hit and hit for power. Will Holland stands with the third best batting average on the team and he handles the barrel well and bats eighth or ninth for the Tigers. The middle of the order remains extremely tough featuring freshman Steven Williams, senior Josh Anthony and first baseman Brendan Venter, who has been otherworldly with an over .400 batting average. Edouard Julien has also had a hot start and the lineup features nearly every hitter with an over .300 batting average on a day-to-day basis. 

Concerns: Pitching depth. Casey Mize is the well known name here, as it seems he will be delivering at least seven unhittable innings every start and Calvin Coker has been the ace in the hole out of the bullpen for head coach Butch Thompson. That being said, Cody Greenhill has been unbelievable as the team's closer but he's currently sidelined with injury, and Tanner Burns, another fellow freshman, has been fantastic but had a rough outing his last time out. Sophomore Davis Daniel will have to step up on Saturdays and other relievers will have to provide meaningful innings for the Tigers to make it to Omaha. 

Best Player on the Field: Casey Mize. This may be the least surprising "Best Player on the Field" selection but Mize was simply dominant for the Tigers on Friday night. Scouts were openly wondering whether he looked sharper than he did during the no-hitter as he struck out 13 batters over 7 2/3 innings of one-run baseball. Mize is a legitimate candidate to be selected first in June's draft and features an electric arsenal containing a fastball up to 97 mph, a plus splitter, plus changeup and a potentially above average breaking ball. 

Fearless Forecast: Aubrun wins the SEC. Florida, Arkansas, and Kentucky are the sexy names thus far in the Southeastern Conference, however, the Tigers have been arguably the most impressive team in the country. They have only dropped a few games and have an extremely high ceiling as the loaded offense and front-lining pitching of Mize, Burns, Coker and Greenhill make them terrifying in late-inning situations. If Davis Daniel figures things out on Saturdays watch out as the Tigers may be impossible to score on come April.

Database Player Reports (7):

Josh Anthony
Tanner Burns
Calvin Coker
Will Holland
Casey Mize
Steven Williams
Brett Wright

Prospect Spotlight: Steven Williams, OF.

Former PG All-American Steven Williams has been making an immediate impact near the top of the lineup for the Auburn Tigers and handled the opening weekend of SEC play well as he launched two home runs over the weekend. Williams is the right fielder for Auburn, after primarily catching in high school, and that allows his above average arm strength to play well from the corner spot in the outfield. 

Williams is an extremely large and physical presence in the batter's box at a listed 6-foot-3, 216-pounds. The lefthanded slugger had only two hits over the weekend but both were huge big flies for the Tigers. Williams has plus raw power with an extremely leveraged swing path which is most conducive to pull side pop. The swing itself isn't necessarily geared toward power for all fields, however the power to the pull side is loud in and of itself. 

There is real bat speed to the swing, and the path to contact is very inside and plays very well, again, toward pull side power. He is an okay athlete and can certainly pass in right field with a corner profile. The run times are below average, mostly in the 4.5-4.6 second range, but speed isn't necessarily needed for Williams' profile. 

His profile relies heavily on him making lots of contact which he has done so far. There is some swing-and-miss to the plate approach, however he will work his walks and has a very quiet set up and creates controlled violence through the swing. There is a lot of polish to his plate approach and he has been sensational thus far for Auburn.