AUBURN – Auburn pitcher Slade Smith was drafted in the 17th round by the Detroit Tigers, pick No. 544 overall, during the third day of the 2012 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.
A right-hander from Fort Payne, Smith was 4-5 with a 4.78 ERA in 2012 working mainly out of the Auburn bullpen. In 28 appearances he logged 64 innings and finished second on the team with four saves.
A junior, he has a career mark of 10-7 in 64 appearances (15 starts) with a 5.11 ERA. He has struck out 112 while walking 54.
This is the first time Smith has been drafted in his career. Smith is the third player drafted out of Auburn this year, joining Derek Varnadore (9th round, New York Yankees) and Ryan Tella (11th round, San Francisco Giants).
Auburn has now had at least one player selected in the MLB Draft in each of the past 38 drafts, dating to the 1975 season. It is tied with Arkansas for the second-longest streak in the SEC behind Georgia’s 39-year run.