Bama in the Pros

Alabama in Professional Baseball

Alabama baseball is steeped in tradition with 25 conference championships, 23 NCAA Regional appearances, 14 SEC Championships, seven SEC Tournament titles and five College World Series appearances.

The Crimson Tide program has also developed a number of players to play at the next level, with 148 MLB draft picks since its inception in 1966. Dating back to 1912, Alabama has had 66 former players reach the big leagues. With six players drafted from the 2015 squad, Alabama has had at least one player selected in every Major League Draft since 1979, a streak of 37 years.

Alabama currently has five former players that will begin the 2016 season on an MLB roster.

The current list of Major League players includes:

The MLB Draft

Alabama has had 140 players selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft since its inception in 1966. With six selections in the 2015 MLB draft, the Crimson Tide has had at least one player taken in the draft for 37 straight years, dating back to 1979. Overall, Alabama has had at least one player drafted in 44 of the 50 MLB drafts.

Over the past six years, the Crimson Tide has had 32 players drafted. Mikey White was the first player selected in this year's draft, taken 63rd overall by the Oakland Athletics, making him one of just 11 players in Alabama history to be taken in the first two rounds of the MLB Draft. Casey Hughston followed, being taken in the third round of the draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates to become the second-highest Alabama outfielder drafted in the program's illustrious history. Four more players were drafted by the end of this year's draft, with five total players being selected before the start of the 15th round. Those five selections were the most taken in the first 14 rounds in program history, while the six players drafted overall was the program's most since 2010. In that draft, Alabama had seven players from the 2010 squad selected, including pitcher Jimmy Nelson, first baseman Clay Jones, second baseman Ross Wilson, shortstop Josh Rutledge, third baseman/pitcher Jake Smith, pitcher Jason Townsend and pitcher Tyler White. Six players were drafted in 2009, including catcher Vin DiFazio (Texas), pitcher Austin Evans (Cleveland), pitcher Del Howell (Milwaukee), pitcher Austin Hyatt (Philadelphia), outfielder Kent Matthes (Colorado) and infielder Brandon May (Chicago Cubs).

The seven draft picks in 2010 marked the third most in school history, while the six selections in 2009 were the fourth-most in school history. Alabama had a school-record nine players drafted in 1986 and added eight draft picks in 1996. The 1983 Alabama team had six players drafted, including 1983 College Baseball Player of the Year David Magadan (2nd Round - New York Mets).

Over the past 16 years (dating back to 2000), Alabama has had 67 players drafted, including first-round selections Jeremy Brown (2002), Taylor Tankersley (2004) and Tommy Hunter (2007). Of those 67 players, 30 have been pitchers, which include current MLB players David Robertson (2006), Tommy Hunter and Nelson. Alex Avila, currently a catcher for the Detroit, was drafted by the Tigers in the fifth round, following the 2008 season. Josh Rutledge, a third round pick in 2010, made his Major League debut for the Colorado Rockies in July of 2012.

Alabama is also well-represented throughout Minor League Baseball, with 15 former players playing at all three levels of the minors.

Current Alabama Minor League Roster
Player Pos. Team Class League Affiliate
Will Carter RHP Charleston RiverDogs AA South Atlantic Yankees
Taylor Guilbeau LHP Hagerstown Suns A South Atlantic Nationals
Justin Kamplain RHP Charleston RiverDogs A South Atlantic Yankees
Casey Hughston OF West Virginia Power A South Atlantic Pirates
Kent Matthes OF Nashville Sounds AA Texas Athletics
Ben Moore C Salem Red Sox A-Advanced Carolina Red Sox
Kyle Overstreet C Arizona Padres Rookie Arizona Padres
Jared Reaves INF Lakeland Flying Tigers A-Advanced Florida State Tigers
Austen Smith 1B Greensboro Grasshoppers A South Atlantic Marlins
Spencer Turnbull RHP Western Michigan Whitecaps A Midwest Tigers
Wade Wass C Arkansas Travelers AA Texas Angels
Mikey White SS Stockton Ports A-Advanced California Athletics
2015 MLB Draft Picks
Player Team Round Selection
Mikey White Oakland Athletics 2nd 63rd
Casey Hughston Pittsburgh Pirates 3rd 96th
Taylor Guilbeau Washington Nationals 10th 314th
Kyle Overstreet San Diego Padres 14th 418th
Will Carter New York Yankees 14th 423rd
Georgie Salem Arizona Diamondbacks 39th 1,156th
First Round Picks

Alabama has had four first-round draft picks in its illustrious baseball history. The list includes Joe Vitiello (Kansas City, 1991), Jeremy Brown (Oakland, 2002), Taylor Tankersley (Florida, 2004) and Tommy Hunter (Texas, 2006). Vitiello was the seventh overall pick in the 1991 draft by the Kansas City Royals and remains as the highest drafted UA player in history. Jeremy Brown was selected 35th overall by the Oakland A's in 2002, Taylor Tankersley was the 27th overall selection in the 2004 draft by the Florida Marlins and Tommy Hunter was the 54th overall pick by the Texas Rangers in 2007.

Fab Five

Alabama won the 2006 SEC Championship with a 20-10 conference record. The Crimson Tide's 24th conference championship featured five players whom have already made their Major League Baseball debuts. The list includes catcher Alex Avila (Detroit, 2009), third baseman Matt Downs (San Francisco, 2009), pitcher Tommy Hunter (Texas, 2008), pitcher Wade LeBlanc (San Diego, 2008) and pitcher David Robertson (NY Yankees, 2008).

World Series Winners

Joe Sewell and David Robertson are the only former Alabama players to play on World Series championship team. Sewell was a two-time World Series winner with the Cleveland Indians (1920) and New York Yankees (1932). He played in the famous 1932 World Series against the Chicago Cubs, where Babe Ruth's famous "called home run" took place. Chicago's left fielder was Alabama native and alum Riggs Stephenson, a teammate of Sewell with the Crimson Tide from 1918-20. Robertson was a member of the 2009 World Series winner with the New York Yankees. Robertson was a relief pitcher on the 2009 Yankees championship squad.

MLB Managers

Three former Alabama players have also managed in the big leagues, including Andy Cohen, Luke Sewell and Butch Hobson. Cohen's tenure was brief as he managed the Philadelphia Phillies for one game in 1960, winning his only game. Sewell won more than 600 games in 10 years with the St. Louis Browns and led the team to their only World Series championship in 1942. Hobson managed the Red Sox for three seasons from 1992-94.