Auburn's Caldwell drafted by Marlins

Tony Caldwell (Photo Credit: Auburn University/Todd Van Emst)
Tony Caldwell (Photo Credit: Auburn University/Todd Van Emst)

Senior catcher and Second Team All-SEC selection Tony Caldwell was the 24th-round pick of the Florida Marlins in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday. It marked the first time in his career that he was drafted.

Auburn's everyday backstop, Caldwell hit .332 with 13 doubles, a triple, seven home runs and 44 RBI, scoring 37 runs in 2011. He led the team and finished the regular season seventh in the SEC with a .445 on base percentage, having drawn 30 walks and been hit by a pitch nine times.

One of 13 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award as the nation's top collegiate catcher, he threw out 23 of 49 (47 percent) base stealers and picked a man off first this season. His 23 caught stealing by led the SEC and at the end of the regular season was the second-most of the 13 Bench Award semifinalists.

For his career, he hit .316 with 40 doubles, two triples and 26 home runs, driving in 119 RBI and scoring 128 runs. Defensively he threw out 59 base stealers, an Auburn record, and also had a .983 fielding percentage.

Caldwell was the fifth current player from Auburn to be drafted in 2011, joining Dan Gamache (sixth round, Pittsburgh), Casey McElroy (11th round, San Diego), Derek Varnadore (17th round, Florida) and Bradley Hendrix (22nd round, Tampa Bay).

Auburn has had at least one player selected in the draft in each of the past 37 drafts, dating to the 1975 season. It is tied with Arkansas for the second-longest streak in the SEC behind Georgia's 39-year run.

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