UF baseball has top-ranked class


Published: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 3:43 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 3:43 p.m.

Florida landed the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, according to Collegiate Baseball newspaper's annual evaluation of NCAA Division I baseball classes released Friday.

UF's ranking for seventh-year head coach Kevin O'Sullivan marks its fifth-consecutive time in the top 8 on the publication's list, after being No. 1 in 2009, No. 5 in 2010, No. 8 in 2011 and No. 7 in 2012.

It marks the Gators' second national recruiting title in the 31-year history of the rankings by Collegiate Baseball. Florida captured its first recruiting championship in 2009 with seven drafted players, a foundation that paved the way for a school-record three-straight appearances at the NCAA College World Series from 2010-12.

Of the 17 new recruits which were brought in this fall by the Gators, eight were drafted by professional baseball last June — the highest number of drafted players ever landed in a Florida recruiting class. Six of those are highly-regarded pitchers and the group includes 15 freshmen and two junior college transfers.

The Gators had eight signees from June's Draft who are now enrolled in school, as right-hander Brett Morales (Tampa) was chosen in the 24th round with the 735th choice by the Cincinnati Reds, right-hander Logan Shore (Coon Rapids, Minn.) was taken in the 29th round with the 860th pick by the Minnesota Twins, right-hander Dane Dunning (Fleming Island) was tabbed 1,015th overall in the 34th round by the Toronto Blue Jays, left-hander/first baseman A.J. Puk (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) was chosen by the Detroit Tigers in the 35th round with the 1,056th choice, outfielder Buddy Reed (Finksburg, Md.) was taken in the 35th round by the Texas Rangers at number 1,060, left-hander Scott Moss (Deltona) was chosen by the Colorado Rockies with the 1,129th pick in the 38th round, infielder John Sternagel (Rockledge.) was picked in the 39h round by the Kansas City Royals at No. 1,164 and right-hander Shaun Anderson (Coral Springs) went 1,216th overall to the Washington Nationals during the 40th round.

“We feel that we have brought in an outstanding class of players who will compete for playing time right away,” O'Sullivan said. “This group of 17 players is being counted on, and we feel as though we have found the right mix of players who can help us immediately.”

Florida also continued a trend where a school from the Southeastern Conference has won the recruiting title in 10 of the last 11 years.

The rankings are based on players who enroll at school each fall. Athletes who initially signed letters of intent with a school but then signed a pro contract after being drafted do not count in the overall evaluation.

Last season, the Gators advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth year in a row, matching the longest run in school history. Florida is scheduled to begin fall practice on Saturday, Oct. 12, at McKethan Stadium and will open its 2014 campaign on Feb. 14 in Gainesville.

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