Detroit Tigers select Auburn pitcher Casey Mize with No. 1 overall pick in MLB draft

Mize averaged 12.45 strikeouts per nine innings in 16 college starts this season

Detroit Tigers General Manager Al Avila during a news conference Feb. 10, 2017. (WDIV)

DETROIT - The Detroit Tigers selected right-handed pitcher Casey Mize from Auburn University with the first overall pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

In 16 starts for Auburn this year, Mize is 10-5 with a 2.95 ERA (109.2IP/36ER). The 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior has racked up 151 strikeouts with 12.45 strikeouts per nine innings and a 0.81 WHIP, leading the Southeastern Conference in all three categories.

He also ranks second in the SEC with 12 walks allowed and 0.99 walks allowed per nine innings this season. Mize was named a 2018 first-team All-American by Baseball America and earned first-team All-SEC honors. He joins Gregg Olson as the second two-time All-American in Auburn history.

“The Detroit Tigers are proud to select this young man with the first overall pick,” said Scott Pleis, Tigers Director of Amateur Scouting. “Tonight is a culmination of many years’ worth of hard work and dedication to the craft of pitching. Casey is truly a special player with a phenomenal arm and impressive collegiate baseball pedigree, but perhaps most importantly has a top-level make-up.

“We project that his arsenal will play up at the Major League level – including what we feel are four true ‘plus’ pitches. Casey has tremendous upside, and his tools have the potential to take his career to special places. Pitchers with his control and command are extremely rare, and we’re all excited to see him get to work and begin his career as a Tiger.”

Over the last three seasons for the Auburn Tigers (2016-18), Mize has posted a 19-12 career record with a 2.81 ERA (262.1IP/82ER), 319 strikeouts, and only 39 walks in 45 appearances (35 starts). In his career at Auburn, Mize has thrown five complete games and one shutout for the Tigers.

“All of us in the Tigers organization are thrilled to select Casey with this pick, and are confident that he will become a pillar in our player development system that’s going to bring winning baseball to Detroit for seasons to come,” said Al Avila, Tigers Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations and General Manager. “Being a college pitcher – especially coming from the Southeastern Conference – we know Casey has seen elite competition before.

“I’d like also like to commend our scouting staff for the extraordinarily thorough job they’ve done canvassing the country over the last year in preparation for this pick and the others that follow.”

A native of Springville, AL, Mize played five years of varsity baseball at Springville High School, where Perfect Game ranked him as the No. 2 pitcher in the state of Alabama (No. 4 player overall) and a three-time All-Area Selectee. Mize posted an overall 19-2 record, going 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA his senior year.

The 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft continues tonight with CB Lottery Round A, Round 2 and CB Lottery Round B. Rounds 3-10 will kick off on Tuesday, June 5 at 1:05 p.m. and the draft will conclude on Wednesday, June 6 at 12:05 p.m. with Rounds 11-40.

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