College | Story | 4/26/2019

Scout Take: Auburn

Vincent Cervino        
Photo: Edouard Julien (Meredith Kramer / Auburn Athletics)

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Auburn Tigers

What Happened: Auburn was able to take two of three against Ole Miss thanks to some late game heroics, and, perhaps more impressively, a complete effort. Their starting staff has been hit hard by injuries but there were a number of impact contributors out of the bullpen, specifically Cody Greenhill and Richard Fitts, during their weekend series to help stabilize innings. The Tigers head into the home stretch looking to keep this momentum flowing as they position themselves for postseason play. 

Carrying Tool: Power. High-octane tools are Auburn's biggest strength and that comes in the form of both raw offensive firepower and impressive heat on the mound. Big sluggers such as Conor Davis and Edouard Julien went deep this series, both showing off their plus raw power, while closer Cody Greenhill turned up the dial on the velocity as he was up to 97 mph in relief. The power is tantalizing for the Tigers as even shortstop Will Holland went yard and they will be looking for the power of sophomore outfielder Steven Williams to show up as the season wears on. 

Concerns: Pitching depth. The Tigers have been hit hard by the injury bug and that has taken a toll on the entire team, but perhaps none worse than the starting rotation. Davis Daniel will miss the rest of the year with Tommy John and Jack Owen just made his return to the mound in relief on Sunday. Arms have stepped up this series, including Elliott Anderson and Richard Fitts, but the rotation will still face question marks outside of Tanner Burns for the rest of the season, or until Owen reclaims his role.

Best Player on the Field: The best players for Auburn are kind of a three-man triumvirate of Holland, Julien and Burns. Holland is likely to be the first player from the team drafted this year given the athleticism and upside while Julien is the team's best bat, and that shows itself in big ways with his ability to get on base and hit majestic shots. Meanwhile, Burns might be the most consistent force on this team and is their true ace, not to mention a top name for the 2020 draft as Burns has solidified Friday nights in the SEC and gives Auburn a chance every time out. 
Fearless Forecast: Auburn wins the SEC Tournament. The Tigers just came off a big series win against Ole Miss and if they can keep their momentum going they have a chance to head to Hoover red hot. Burns will give them the edge over anyone in their first game and if Jack Owen is back to full form by then that's a dangerous 1-2 punch. Both Steven Williams and Holland showed signs of life and looked like they could be turning the corner and returning to their old selves, which would give this Auburn lineup even more power.

Players covered: Edouard Julien, Will Holland, Matt Scheffler, Conor Davis, Garrett Wade, Richard Fitts, Cody Greenhill, Tanner Burns, Elliott Anderson.

Edouard Julien
In a bit of a surprise move, Edouard Julien was declared eligible for the MLB draft this season as his year at a secondary school in Canada counted as his first year of post-high school baseball, which would make his sophomore campaign his third year. This makes Julien a top five round candidate for the draft, and though teams haven't had much time with him, he has the tools to be successful at the next level. 

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