AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn shortstop Ryan Bliss was selected Monday by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 42nd overall pick in the second round of the 2021 MLB Draft.
Bliss becomes the fifth highest position player drafted in program history, trailing Frank Thomas (7th, 1989), Gabe Gross (15th, 2001), Mark Bellhorn (35th, 1995) and Anfernee Grier (39th, 2016). He is the ninth highest draft pick overall in Auburn history.
Bliss’ selection marks the 47th consecutive season dating back to 1975 Auburn has had at least one player selected in the MLB Draft – tied for the longest streak in the Southeastern Conference. It’s also the sixth straight season Auburn has had a top-five-round pick, marking the first time in program history to accomplish the feat.
One of four two-time All-Americans in program history, Bliss played and started in all but two games during his Auburn career and turned in a .328 career average with 176 hits in 134 contests. He added 121 runs, 32 doubles, four triples, 20 homers and 99 RBI while turning in a .972 career fielding percentage.
A native of LaGrange, Georgia, the All-SEC performer finished the 2021 regular season as the only player in the conference to rank in the top five in average, slugging, runs, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI and total bases during league games. He also ranked in the top five in the league overall in average, slugging, hits and total bases during the regular season.
Bliss collected multiple hits in a league-best 26 of 51 games during the regular season, including 16 of 30 games in SEC play, and finished the year with a homer and another multi-hit effort in the Tigers’ SEC Tournament game vs. Ole Miss. His .365 average and 15 home runs are the most by an Auburn shortstop in the same season since Doug Gilcrease hit .386 with 17 home runs in 1982.
The MLB Draft continues Monday and Tuesday with coverage on MLB.com.