There are currently two former Auburn players that are in the major leagues, Josh Donaldson and Grant Dayton, but there are ten former Tigers that are working their way up through the minor leagues. Unlike professional football and basketball, a contract does not guarantee big money with the big boys. After being drafted and/or signed, a player is assigned to a minor league affiliate for the major league club that holds their contract- single A is the lowest level, followed by single-A advanced, double-A and triple A. If you haven’t read the first Auburn Baseball Farm Report, click here to view it. Here’s a look at the rest of the former Tigers in the minor leagues that are working towards getting a call-up to the majors:
Dan Gamache was drafted out of Auburn in the 6th round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Gamache signed with the Pirates organization after his junior year at Auburn, a season in which he hit .299 with five homers and 29 RBI. The Auburn third baseman’s sophomore season grabbed the most attention from fans and scouts when he hit a remarkable .365 with eight home runs and 37 RBI. After spending part of 2011 in at a short season team, Gamache was initially placed at the Pirates single-A affiliate in Charleston, West Virginia to begin the 2012 season. Gamache made it to the Pirates triple-A team in Indianapolis, Indiana to begin the 2015 season, but was released by the team in September of 2016. On December 15th, 2016, the Minnesota Twins signed the free agent to a minor league contract and assigned him to their double-A team in Chattanooga, Tennessee to begin the 2017 season. Gamache is currently batting .207 with 29 RBI.
A name that many Auburn baseball fans recognize is Anfernee Grier. Grier, who was liked by many MLB scouts for his speed, was a Collective Bargaining Agreement pick (between 1st and 2nd rounds) in the 2016 MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The speedy center fielder batted .336 with 12 homers and 41 RBI in his junior and final season at Auburn before signing with the Diamondbacks. After being drafted, Grier played rookie ball then was placed at the Diamondbacks Single-A affiliate in Geneva, Illinois to begin the 2017 season. In his first full season in the minor leagues, the Russell County native is batting .271 with 14 RBI and 14 stolen bases.
Stephen Kohlscheen came to Auburn for a year after transferring from Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kansas before being drafted in the 2010 MLB Draft. In his one and only year at Auburn, Kohlscheen held a 1-0 record 6.49 ERA in 17 appearances (2 of them starts). Kohlscheen was drafted in the 45th round of the 2010 draft by the Seattle Mariners, then was assigned to the Mariners single-A team in Clinton, Iowa to start the 2011 season. On July 31st, 2014, the Mariners traded Kohlscheen to the San Diego Padres where he was placed on their triple-A team in El Paco, Texas. After struggling in triple-A, the Padres sent the right hander down to their double-A team in San Antonio, Texas in June of 2015. Kohlscheen was then released by the Padres on March 26, 2016, but just three days later, the Milwaukee Brewers signed Kohlscheen and assigned him to their double-A team in Biloxi, Mississippi. Kohlscheen was invited to Brewers spring training before the 2017 MLB season, then began the 2017 season at the Brewers triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs, Colorado. So far this year, Kohlscheen holds a 1-0 record and a 5.68 ERA in Colorado Springs.
Trey Wingenter was drafted out of Auburn after his junior season in the 17th round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres. In his junior season at Auburn, Wingenter posted a 1-6 record and a 4.28 ERA before signing with the Padres. After playing in a Padres rookie league in 2015, The Madison, Alabama native was assigned to the Mariners single-A advanced team in Lake Elsinore, California to begin the 2016 season. Wingenter is currently pitching for the Padre’s double-A team in San Antonio, Texas and has a 2-0 record and a 2.28 ERA so far this season.
Be sure to keep an eye out for these Auburn baseball alumni as they continue on the road to the show. If you have not read “The Auburn Farm Report: Part One” featuring Justin Camp, Trey Cochran-Gill, Garrett Cooper, Damek Tomscha, and Joshua Palacios, be sure to check it out.