Julien, Owen to return to Auburn baseball for 2020 season

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AUBURN, Ala. (WIAT) – Sophomores Edouard Julien and Jack Owen have decided to forgo their professional baseball opportunities and return to Auburn for the 2020 season next spring.

Julien was selected by the Minnesota Twins in 18th round of the MLB Draft earlier this month, marking the second time in his career he has been drafted. Owen was taken by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 21st round.

A native of Quebec City, Julien has led the Tigers in home runs and RBI in each of his first two seasons on The Plains and is the first Auburn player since 2009-10 to drive in 50 or more runs in back-to-back seasons.

Julien was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team and a Freshman All-American after hitting 17 home runs and breaking Frank Thomas’ freshman RBI record with 69 RBI in 2018. He followed it up by adding 10 home runs and driving in 57 in his sophomore campaign. Julien drove in 101 runs in his first 94 career games, becoming the fifth fastest Auburn player to reach 100 RBI behind Tim Hudson (78 games), Gabe Gross (86 games), Frank Thomas (89 games) and Todd Faulkner (90 games).

“It was an honor to hear my name called by the Minnesota Twins, and I want to thank them for the opportunity,” Julien said. “However, my teammates and I still have some work to do at Auburn. Coach Thompson talks about leaving a legacy, and our story isn’t over yet.”

Owen had a breakout year in 2019, posting a 4-2 record and team-best 2.75 ERA in 14 appearances and 10 starts. The Aliso Viejo, California, native ranked second on the team in innings pitched (68.2) and struck out 59 batters while issuing just 14 walks.

After starting the season in the bullpen, Owen entered the starting rotation in the third week of the season and was named the SEC Pitcher of the Week after throwing a complete-game shutout against UTSA the following weekend. He didn’t allow a run in a span of 20.2 innings from Feb. 23-Mar. 16 and set the program record by throwing 28.2 innings without allowing an earned run dating back to last season.

“Playing pro baseball is a dream of mine, and I can’t thank the St. Louis Cardinals enough for giving me that opportunity,” Owen said. “However, I’m excited to return to Auburn for my junior season and can’t wait to get back to work with Coach Thompson and the boys.”

Julien, Owen and the rest of the Tigers posted a 38-28 overall record in 2019 and are coming off the program’s fifth appearance in the College World Series, including its first since 1997.

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