Updated: Schwarz, Liput, Byrne, Horvath also taken in MLB draft

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Florida's pitcher Michael Byrne in Game 2 against FAU in the NCAA Regionals. [Cyndi Chambers/Gainesville Sun Correspondent]

[Updated: 6-6-18, 8:28 p.m.]

Florida junior relief pitcher Michael Byrne was selected in the 14th round (409 pick overall) of the MLB draft on Wednesday by the Cincinnati Reds, who also drafted Gator third baseman Jonathan India in the first round Monday.

In his career at Florida, Byrne has appeared in 82 games and with 34 saves, which ranks first on the all-time career list at Florida. He has posted a career ERA of 1.96 with six wins. Byrne has struck out 158 batters and only walked 22 in his three years in Gainesville.

Senior outfielder Nick Horvath was selected in the 25th round (745 pick overall) by the Baltimore Orioles, making seven Gators drafted, so far.

The two-way player has made 149 appearances in the field and 45 on the mound in his Florida career. The left-hander holds a 3.72 ERA over four seasons with a 5-1 record in 46.0 innings pitched.

On Tuesday:

Florida catcher JJ Schwarz was taken 233rd overall today (8th round) by the Oakland Athletics, becoming the fourth Gator taken so far in the 2018 MLB Draft. He will most likely join former teammates A.J. Puk and Logan Shore as a member of the A’s organization next Spring.

This is the third time the senior has been drafted. Coming out of high school, he was selected by the Brewers in the 17th round in 2014 and in the 38th round by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017.

He was recently named a First Team All-SEC selection after posting a .325 batting average and 12 home runs to go along with a career-best .404 on-base percentage in 55 games played.

Florida shortstop Deacon Liput was taken with the 314th overall pick (10th round) by the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is the second year in a row that the Dodgers have selected the junior shortstop.

Coming out of high school, he was selected by the Yankees in the 39th round in 2014 and in the 29th round by Los Angeles in 2017.

Florida’s infielder Jonathan India and Florida’s catcher Cal Greenfield after the game against Georgia. [Cyndi Chambers/Gainesville Sun Correspondent]
For the first time, there were three Florida Gators were taken in the first round of the MLB Draft. Florida third baseman Jonathan India was selected by the Cincinnati Reds with the 5th overall pick, becoming the highest Gator picked in the MLB Draft since 2012 when Mariners catcher Mike Zunino was chosen third overall.

India was named the SEC Player of the Year while also earning First Team All-SEC honors. The Golden Spikes and Dick Howser Award semifinalist is hitting at a .364 clip with a team-high 18 home runs and 12 stolen bases in 2018.

He enjoyed a breakout junior season with the Gators, hitting .364 with 18 home runs and 45 RBIs to earn SEC player of the year honors. India had a 24-game hit streak earlier this season.


GATORS IN 2018 MLB DRAFT
Player, Team, Round (Pick)
Jonathan India, Cincinnati Reds, 1 (5)
Brady Singer, Kansas City Royals, 1 (18)
Jackson Kowar, Kansas City Royals, 1C (33)
JJ Schwarz, Oakland A’s, 8 (233)
Deacon Liput, Los Angeles Dodgers, 10 (314)
Michael Byrne, Cincinnati Reds, 14 (409)
Nick Horvath, Baltimore Orioles, 25 (745)

“We think Jonathan is an extremely exciting athlete who can impact the game in many ways,” said Dick Williams, president of baseball operations, in a statement. “He played very good defense at third base and has the athleticism to play elsewhere. As an accomplished and advanced college hitter, he should move quickly through the minor leagues. We are thrilled to add him to our organization.”

India said he knew he was picked fifth by the Reds while playing in UF’s regional games against FAU on Monday night.

“You could hear it from the fans,” India said. “It’s a great honor and thanks to the Reds for picking me.”

The Gator’s Brady Singer #51 at a practice before the start of the NCAA Regionals, Thursday, May 31, 2018, at McKethan Stadium, in Gainesville, Florida. He’s expected to be the starting pitcher in Game 2. Singer was named Baseball America’s National Player of the Year, as well as the SEC Pitcher of the Year and is up for the Golden Spikes Award. [Cyndi Chambers/Gainesville Sun Correspondent]
Florida pitcher Brady Singer was also selected in the first round by the Kansas City Royals with the 18th overall pick in tonight’s MLB Draft.

In his career at Florida, Singer has posted a career record of 21-8 and a career ERA of 3.18. His junior year has been one to remember with a 11-1 record in 14 starts and a career best ERA of 2.27. In 95 innings pitched he has allowed just 24 earned runs on 64 hits with 19 walks. He has struck out 98 batters on the year and has a batting average against of .188. His career numbers to date are equally as impressive with 265 career strikeouts in 264.2 innings pitched. His 265 career strikeouts ranks seventh all-time at Florida. During his sophomore season he struck out 129 batters which ranks sixth on the single-season list at Florida.

Coming out of high school Singer was drafted in the second round, pick No. 56 overall, of the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Gators’ Jackson Kowar #37 throws in the bullpen with teammates Michael Byrne #17 and Brady Singer #51, watching during a practice before the start of NCAA Regionals, Thursday, May 31, 2018. [Cyndi Chambers/Gainesville Sun Correspondent]
Florida right-hand pitcher Jackson Kowar was selected 33rd overall by Kansas City, joining teammate Brady Singer in the Heart of America. The Royals received picks 33 and 34 as compensatory picks in the draft after losing Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer to free agency last year.

Over the course of his career at Florida Kowar has earned 24 wins to just five loses with a career ERA of 3.63. In his 235.1 innings pitched he has struck out 219 batters with a batting average against of .258. He had a career-high 12 wins in the Gators’ National Championship season while striking out a career best 91 in 2018.

On the second day of the draft Tuesday, senior UF catcher JJ Schwarz was selected in the eighth round (233 player overall) by the Oakland Athletics. Schwarz was drafted in the 38th round, 1,129th overall last year. Schwarz is now part of the same organization as former teammates A.J. Puk, Logan Shore and Richie Martin.

Click back for more details.

Gator pitchers Michael Byrne, Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar talk with Gator head coach Kevin O Sullivan in the bullpen during a practice before the start of the NCAA Regionals, Thursday, at Mckethan Stadium, Gainesville,Florida. [Cyndi Chambers/Gainesville Sun Correspondent]
ALL-TIME GATOR BASEBALL FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICKS
Player
Year
Team (Pick)
Jim Watkins
1978
Atlanta Braves (1st in the June – Secondary Phase)
Rob Murphy
1981
Cincinnati Reds (3rd in the January – Secondary Phase)
Randy O’Neal
1981
Detroit Tigers (15th in the June – Secondary Phase)
Robby Thompson
1983
San Francisco Giants (2nd in the June – Secondary Phase)
Rich Rice
1983
Baltimore Orioles (3rd in the June – Secondary Phase)
Scott Ruskin
1986
Montreal Expos (8th in the January – Secondary Phase)
Jamie McAndrew
1989
Los Angeles Dodgers (28th compensation)
John Burke
1991
Houston Astros (6th) *did not sign
John Burke
1992
Colorado Rockies (27th)
Marc Valdes
1993
Florida Marlins (27th)
Brad Wilkerson
1998
Montreal Expos (33rd compensation)
Matt LaPorta
2007
Milwaukee Brewers (7th)
Mike Zunino
2012
Seattle Mariners (3rd)
Brian Johnson
2012
Boston Red Sox (31st)
Jonathon Crawford
2013
Detroit Tigers (20th)
Richie Martin
2015
Oakland A’s (20th)
A.J. Puk
2016
Oakland A’s (6th)
Dane Dunning
2016
Washington Nationals (29th)
Alex Faedo
2017
Detroit Tigers (18th)
Jonathan India
2018
Cincinnati Reds (5th)
Brady Singer
2018
Kansas City Royals (18th)
Jackson Kowar
2018
Kansas City Royals (33rd)

7 COMMENTS

    • It isn’t based off of college year, it is based off of age. Liput was 21 last year so he could be draft eligible as a sophomore. Most guys are 18 their first year eligible, Then 3 years later (or usually their Junior Year) they get drafted again. Liput happened to be 21 his sophomore year.

  1. Liput is a junior but he was “sophomore eligible” draftee in 2017… I think because the draft was so close to his 21st birthday.

  2. Notice all of these guys increased their draft positions by playing college ball for the Gators. That means they also increased the signing money and deals they will be getting. Excellent recruiting tool for Sully to show to new recruits. It pays off for most guys to go the college route than straight to the minors. Time for Sully to reload for next year. Just proves that he is a great developer of talent. He deserves to be the highest paid coach in college and the Gators are so lucky to have him.

    • 3 first rounders and 7 overall, unbelievable, better than any sport, probably in terms of percentages at or near the best draft of any sport in gator history. sully is free to be impatient with anyone; he is worth a lot of money to the kids he recruits. Absolutely incredible, we get lost in football, but this deserves far more appreciation than I can convey, maybe the word iconic, like spurrier, tebow, danny, emmitt, billy, al, jo noah, kevin carter, urban, tracy caulkins, abby wambach (please forgive me for any i’ve missed)

  3. It looks like Joe and the article were both right and I was wrong. I didn’t know about the age thing.
    Best wishes and good luck to all these great Gators on their quest for the Big Show.

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