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2021 MLB Draft: Rays select OF Mason Auer No. 161 overall in fifth round

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The junior college outfielder is the team’s fifth round pick.

Syndication: The News-Leader Nathan Papes/Springfield News-Leader via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Tampa Bay Rays have selected San Jacinto College North outfielder Mason Auer with their fifth round pick, a mild surprise.

Auer was previously drafted in the 39th round by the Cubs in 2019 while playing for Missouri State, and is currently committed to transfer to Oregon.

Here’s a Baseball America write up from earlier this year:

Coming out of high school, Auer was viewed as a developing pitcher who could also play in the outfield. Now he’s an outfielder who can also pitch. Auer pitched and hit at Missouri State in the shortened 2020 season, then transferred to San Jacinto (Texas) JC for 2021. Auer was San Jac’s best hitter, hitting .373/.525/.627 with 11 home runs and 34 steals in 37 tries. Auer also made nine relatively effective outings on the mound for the Gators, but his speed, developing power and center field defense are now more alluring than his arm strength on the mound. He’s committed to Oregon.

Auer had 80 hits for Sac Jac in 2021, upping his AVG to .376 from that report, with 11 doubles, 4 triples, and improved to 37 of 41 of steal attempts.