The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Will Kendall in the 30th round of the Major League Baseball Draft while the Texas Rangers selected Jay Gonzalez in the 39th round as the draft drew to a close on Saturday.
Kendall, a left-handed pitcher, was pick number 899 overall and was the third Auburn player selected in this year's draft. As a junior in 2013, he was 0-5 with a 7.54 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts), returning from Tommy John surgery a year ago. The Marietta, Ga., native has pitched in 23 games (14 starts) in three years at Auburn, compiling a 4-5 record and a 4.17 ERA. In 73 1/3 career innings, he has struck out 45. This marks the first time he has been drafted.
Kendall is Auburn's first draft pick by Pittsburgh since the Pirates took Dan Gamache in the sixth round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Other Auburn selections by Pittsburgh have been 3B Richie Howard (1976, 28th Rd.), C Tim Edge (1990, sixth round) and 1B Jeff Leatherman (1991, 47th Rd.).
Kendall joined Garrett Cooper (sixth round, Milwaukee Brewers) and Conner Kendrick (ninth round, New York Yankees) as draft picks this season.
Gonzalez (No. 1,180 overall) played at Auburn in 2011-12 and hit .289 over his two seasons. He hit a career-best .308 in 2012 when he finished the year as the SEC leader in stolen bases (30). He was suspended for the 2013 season.
Auburn signee Anfernee Grier was also selected on Saturday. The Detroit Tigers picked the outfielder from Russell County in the 39th round (No. 1,176).
Auburn has now had at least one MLB Draft pick in 39 consecutive seasons, tied for the second-longest active streak among SEC schools.
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