Ryan Watson signs with Baltimore

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn right-hander Ryan Watson signed a free agent contract with the Baltimore Orioles Sunday night.

Watson becomes the third member of the 2020 team to pursue his goal of playing professional baseball, joining Tanner Burns and Bailey Horn, who were drafted last week.

“Playing for this University has been a dream come true,” Watson said. “I dreamed of playing for Auburn as a little kid and will cherish every moment of the last four years. Thank you to all the coaches, family, friends and teammates who have helped me get to this point in my baseball career. I’m excited to join the Baltimore Orioles organization and start this next chapter in my life.”

A local product from Auburn High School, Watson made 58 appearances, including five starts, in his four-year career on The Plains. He posted a 2-2 record and 4.67 ERA while striking out 79 batters and issuing 35 walks in 90.2 innings pitched.

“The entire Auburn Family joins in celebrating the career of Ryan Watson and his opportunity with the Baltimore Orioles,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “We thank Ryan for staying home to accomplish his goals of playing for Auburn and pursuing his degree before taking this next step into professional baseball.”

Watson saved his best for last, playing a key role in Auburn’s 2019 postseason run that culminated at the College World Series for the first time since 1997. He picked up where he left off as he allowed just one run in five appearances and 7.1 innings of work in 2020.