Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gamache, McElroy among Auburn players drafted

AUBURN – Junior third baseman Dan Gamache, taken in the sixth round by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the 182nd pick overall, heads the list of Auburn players taken in the 2011 Major League Baseball draft.
“I was expecting to go a little later and (the draft broadcast) was just coming off of a break,” Gamache said. “When I heard my name I was surprised. It’s very exciting. I am getting so many phone calls and texts, I can’t send a text message without sending another one.”

A left-handed hitter, Gamche hit .299 this past season with 13 doubles, two
triples and five home runs, driving in 29 RBI and scoring 35 runs while being utilized mostly as the team’s designated hitter.

Listed as a third baseman by Pittsburgh in the draft, he has hit .337 during his career with 31 doubles, three triples, 16 home runs and 77 RBI, scoring 97 runs. He has a career .535 slugging percentage and a .438 career on-base percentage, playing in 134 games over three years with 120 starts.

Meanwhile, Auburn signee Clay Holmes, a 6-4, 224-pound pitcher, was taken in the 9th round by the Pirates, junior infielder Casey McElroy was selected in the 11th round by the San Diego Padres, and junior right-handed pitcher Derek Varnadore was picked in the 17th round by the Florida Marlins.
A first-team All-SEC selection in 2011, McElroy had one of the finest
offensive seasons in the SEC this season, finishing the regular season
ranked in the top 10 in eight offensive categories (Batting Avg. - .370
- 3rd; Slugging Pct. - .564 - 5th; Hits - 87 - 1st; RBI - 53 - T5th;
Doubles - 18 - T8th; Home Runs - 9 - T5th; Total Bases - 132 - 4th; Sac
Flies - 6 - T4th).

An everyday starter at short for the past three seasons, McElroy owns a
.330 lifetime batting average in 170 games, collecting 42 doubles, two
triples and 25 home runs, driving in 131 RBI and scoring 127 run

Varnadore was 6-3 with a 3.68 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 88 innings pitched.

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