Three Alabama baseball players, including two underclassmen were chosen on the final day of the 2018 MLB Draft on Wednesday.
Junior third baseman Cobie Vance was chosen in the 18th round by the Oakland Athletics with the 533rd overall pick. Junior shortstop Jett Manning was picked in the 20th round with the 586th overall pick by the San Francisco Giants. If both players sign professional contracts, Alabama will be replacing its entire starting infield next season.
Senior second baseman Chandler Avant was also chosen in the 30th round with the 890th pick by the New York Mets.
Vance is a three-year starter who played the first two seasons of his career at second base before moving to third this season. He posted the best offensive numbers of his career this spring, hitting .293 with a .401 on base percentage. He was the only player to start all 56 games this season for Alabama and finished his career with 168 starts.
Vance led the team in runs (43) and hits (66). He was tied for the team lead with seven stolen bases. He was second on the team with six home runs and drove in 28 runs despite spending most of the season batting leadoff. He tweeted on Wednesday to express his excitement about joining Oakland.
910 to the 510… Im an Oakland A 🙏🏾
— Cobie Fletcher-Vance (@CFV_1) June 6, 2018
Manning just finished his first season at Alabama after transferring from a junior college. He hit .251 with a .330 on base percentage and drove in 22 runs. He struggled at times in the field, finishing the season with a .934 fielding percentage and 16 errors, including 11 errors in SEC games.
Avant was undrafted after his junior season and returned to lead the team with a .295 batting average and 38 RBIs. He moved from shortstop to second base and saw his defense improve, going from 19 errors in 2017 to nine errors this spring.
He posted a .401 on base percentage and started 54 games this season. Avant ranks seventh in school history in assists and is eighth in doubles.
Three more Alabama signees were also chosen. Junior college signee Bryan Lavastida was chosen in the 15th round with the 460th overall pick by the Cleveland Indians.
High school signee Dylan Smith, a right handed pitcher, was chosen in the 18th round with the 531st overall pick by the San Diego Padres. Smith is from Stafford High School in the Houston, Texas area.
High school signee Tyler Ras, the top-rated recruit in Alabama’s class, was chosen in the 33rd round with the 998th pick by the Chicago Cubs. Ras was ranked as the No. 197 overall prospect in MLB.com’s top 200 of this draft class.
Jones County Community College signee Will Freeman was picked up in the 36th round with the 1,071st overall pick by the Padres.
Junior college signee Brett Auerbach slipped into the last round. The catcher/infielder was chosen by the Colorado Rockies with the 1206th pick in the 40th round, 10 picks from the end of the draft.
|PJ Hilson||HS||OF||San Francisco Giants||6||166|
|Jake Walters||Sr.||RHP||Miami Marlins||9||267|
|Chandler Taylor||Jr.||OF||Houston Astros||10||312|
|Bryan Lavastida||JUCO||C||Cleveland Indians||15||460|
|Dylan Smith||HS||RHP||San Diego Padres||18||531|
|Cobie Vance||Jr.||INF||Oakland Athletics||18||533|
|Jett Manning||Jr.||SS||San Francisco Giants||20||586|
|Chandler Avant||Sr.||2B||New York Mets||30||890|
|Tyler Ras||HS||RHP||Chicago Cubs||33||998|
|Will Freeman||JUCO||RHP||San Diego Padres||36||1071|
|Brett Auerbach||JUCO||C/INF||Colorado Rockies||40||1206|