Alabama Baseball Alumni In The MLB
The MLB has officially returned for the 2021 season and Alabama has no shortage of representation. In honor of opening week, here are the former Crimson Tide players in Major League Baseball.
Catcher Alex Avila has recently signed a one year/$1.5 million deal with the Washington Nationals. Avila previously played for the Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks and Minnesota Twins. He was drafted by the Tigers in 2005, but Avila elected to attend the University of Alabama and was later drafted in the 2008 MLB draft. Washington’s opening game against the Mets has been postponed due to contract tracing and COVID-19 protocols.
Right-handed pitcher Matt Foster currently plays for the Chicago White Sox. Foster was drafted by the White Sox in the 20th round of the 2016 MLB draft. In 2020, Foster was 6-1 and pitched 28.2 innings with an ERA of 2.20. The White Sox will kick off their opening game at the LA Angels in Angel Stadium at 9:05 P.M.
Left-handed pitcher Wade LeBlanc plays for the Baltimore Orioles. LeBlanc was drafted in the 2003 MBL draft, but instead went to the University of Alabama to play baseball. The San Diego Padres drafted LeBlanc in the 2006 MLB draft. He has also played for the Marlins, Astros, Angels, Yankees, Pirates, and Mariners. LeBlanc pitched a 8.06 ERA through 22.1 innings pitched during the 2020 season. The Orioles game at Fenway Park against the Red Sox was postponed and has been rescheduled to April 2 at 2:10 P.M.
Right-handed pitcher Jimmy Nelson plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Nelson did not sign when drafted in the 2007 MLB draft and instead attended the University of Alabama. He was later drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the second round of the 2010 MLB draft. Last season, Nelson signed a one year/$1.25 million deal with the LA Dodgers. Unfortunately, Nelson missed all of last season due to back surgery. The Dodgers will take on the Rockies opening day.
Right-handed pitcher Spencer Turnbull currently plays for the Detroit Tigers. During his time at Alabama, Turnbull was the starting pitcher for the 2013 season. Turnbull was drafted by the Tigers in the second round during the 2014 MLB draft. In the 2020 season, Turnbull pitched a 3.97 ERA through 56.2 innings pitched. Turnbull will start the 2021 season on the injured list. The Detroit Tigers first game will be against the Cleveland Indians at home.
As far as future MLB stars out of Alabama goes, keep your eye on ace pitcher Connor Prielipp and UTL Peyton Wilson in the coming years.