TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – A total of four Alabama baseball student-athletes from the 2020-21 roster were selected on day two of the 2021 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Those four join one Crimson Tide signee to make up a group of five that have been drafted through the event’s first two days.
The foursome of current Tide student-athletes to go on day two included Peyton Wilson (Kansas City Royals, 2nd Round), Dylan Smith (Detroit Tigers, 3rd Round), Chase Lee (Texas Rangers, 6th Round) and Sam Praytor (Miami Marlins, 6th Round). Alabama’s four picks through the first six rounds are the most by any single Crimson Tide roster in program history and tie with the 1983 team for the most picks through the first 10 rounds of any MLB Draft.
The four total selections so far in the 2021 Draft increased the Crimson Tide’s all-time draft pick total to 163 (153 players) since the event began in 1966. Alabama has now had at least one player selected in 43 consecutive years dating back to 1979 and 50 of the 56 MLB drafts overall. More recently, the Tide has seen 55 players selected in the last 12 years and 90 total across the last 22 drafts dating back to 2000.
In addition to the current players, signee Noah Miller was selected in the round one by the Minnesota Twins as a compensatory pick.
The 2021 MLB First-Year Player Draft began on Sunday, July 11 and will continue through Tuesday, July 13. The three-day event can be streamed live through MLB.com. Fans can also follow along with each pick on the same website.
All players have remaining eligibility and are able to return to the University to continue their careers at Alabama if they elect to not sign a professional contract.
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PEYTON WILSON (2nd Round | 66th Overall | Kansas City Royals)
Second Baseman, Sophomore
- The Crimson Tide’s highest-drafted second baseman in program history
- Alabama’s highest selection as an infielder since 2015
- One of just 12 players in UA history to be taken in the first or second round of the MLB Draft
- Made his mark as the Crimson Tide’s everyday second baseman this past season after splitting time between the outfield, catcher and infield as a freshman
- Played in 12 games with seven starts in 2020, batting .333 (10-30) with three doubles, eight RBI and 12 runs scored prior to the season’s cancelation
- Built on that solid start to his Alabama career to post a standout season in 2021
- Started in all 58 games as a sophomore, batting .290 (72-248) with 13 doubles, a triple and nine home runs while posting 31 RBI and 46 runs scored
- Led the Tide in hits, doubles, runs and stolen bases (10) while totaling 21 multi-hit performances to tie for the team lead
- Finished 15th in the SEC for hits while ranking third in assists (158) and ninth in double plays turned (32)
- Recorded a team-best 13-game hitting streak from March 23-April 15 of this season, batting .410 (25-61) with four doubles, a triple, three homers, 10 RBI, 12 runs, three walks, a hit-by-pitch and five stolen bases during that stretch
- His standout sophomore campaign not only earned him All-SEC Second Team honors and Newcomer All-SEC recognition but also garnered him ABCA/Rawlings All-Southeast Region First Team accolades at season’s end
DYLAN SMITH (3rd Round | 74th Overall | Detroit Tigers)
- Third-round selection was the highest selection for an Alabama pitcher since 2014
- Becomes the 10th Crimson Tide pitcher to be taken in the top-three rounds and the fifth right-hander in program history
- Appeared in 33 career games with 17 starts, 16 of which came during his junior campaign as he worked his way into a weekend starter role
- Made 13 appearances as a freshman and pitched in four games as a sophomore with one start prior to the season’s cancelation
- Burst onto the scene as a junior and finished as Alabama’s leader in innings pitched (98.1) and strikeouts (113), a number that ranks third on the Tide’s single-season list for punchouts
- Owned a 3.84 ERA (42 ER) across his 16 starts and finished with a 2-8 record as his offense averaged 2.75 runs per 9.0 innings during his time on the mound in 2021
- Worked 5.0-plus innings in 10 of his 16 starts as a junior and finished in the top-five for innings pitched among SEC arms
- Punched out five or more batters in 14 of 16 outings, including a team-high 11 to go with a pair of 10-strikeout performances
- Walked more than one batter in only five starts and did not issue a free pass in seven of his starts this past season
- His most impressive effort came in the NCAA Ruston Regional where he tossed a complete game against Rider on June 5, the Tide’s first complete game since 2019
- Allowed just one run on seven hits while striking out seven with no walks in the complete game effort to earn himself NCAA All-Tournament Team honors
CHASE LEE (6th Round | 164th Overall | Texas Rangers)
- Alabama’s highest selection as a reliever since 2014 when Thomas Burrows went to the Seattle Mariners in the fourth round
- Originally a walk-on, Lee has earned a spot on Alabama’s list of top-flight relief pitchers
- Holds an impressive 1.87 ERA (17 ER/82.0 IP) in three seasons with the Crimson Tide
- Owns a perfect 9-0 record to go with nine saves across his 49 career outings
- Made 22 relief appearances in 2019 to rank second among UA relievers and looked to build upon that success in 2020, totaling five relief appearances prior to the season’s cancelation
- Came back even better in 2021, finishing 7-0 with seven saves to go with a 1.33 ERA (6 ER/40.2 IP) in 22 relief appearances
- Led Alabama’s relievers and ranked third overall with 51 strikeouts as a junior
- His impressive stats in 2021 earned him third team All-America honors from the NCBWA to go with ABCA/Rawlings All-Southeast Region First Team accolades
- Earned his degree in May of 2021 in aerospace engineering and was tabbed to the SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll from 2019-21
SAM PRAYTOR (6th Round | 179th Overall | Miami Marlins)
Catcher, Redshirt Junior
- Became the third-highest Crimson Tide catcher ever taken in the MLB Draft in program history, trailing only Alex Avila (Round 5, 2008) and Jeremy Brown (Round 1, 2002)
- Has spent four seasons in Tuscaloosa, playing a key role in the rebuilding of the Alabama baseball program
- Totaled 126 games of action, starting 122 of those as the Tide’s primary catcher since stepping foot on campus
- Owns a .285 (125-438) career average with 19 doubles and 25 home runs to go with 85 RBI, 78 runs and 63 walks
- Played in 46 games with 43 starts as a freshman before suffering an elbow injury in his second season that limited him to just six games of action
- Was red-hot to start the 2020 campaign, batting .350 (21-60) with a team-high six home runs to go with 18 RBI and 14 runs before the season came to a halt
- Excelled in his redshirt junior campaign, earning first team All-SEC honors at catcher while also picking up third team All-America accolades from Collegiate Baseball News
- Played in all 58 games in 2021, batting .277 (59-213) with 12 doubles and a team-high 14 home runs
- Also led UA in RBI this past season with 48, including a team-best 15 multi-RBI performances
- Earned his undergraduate degree in May of 2021