On Saturday at the NCAA Gainesville Super Regional at McKethan Stadium, there will be another mound match-up of two first-round selections from this week’s Major League Baseball draft: Auburn junior right-hander Casey Mize vs. Florida junior righty Brady Singer.
Let’s break down the pairing:
RHP, Auburn, 21, 6-3, 220, junior.
The No. 1 overall pick Monday by the Detroit Tigers went undrafted out of high school three years ago, developing into a potential big league ace while in college. Mize has the mound combination that makes scouts drool — and batters consistently miss. He’s got solid command of four pitches, including a fastball that hovers in the mid-90s. But it’s his outstanding command and wicked splitter/changeup — possibly the best in the draft — that push him to the top of most teams’ wish lists. He was 10-5 with a 2.95 ERA and 151 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 109 2/3 innings while helping the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament Super Regional.
Scouting report from MLB.com’s Jim Callis: Mize has the best pitch in the draft — a nearly-unhittable splitter. He has the best combination of stuff and polish of any pitcher in the 2018 draft class.
RHP, Florida, 21, 6-5, 210, junior.
The Gators ace and SEC pitcher of the year has been in the discussion since last year to be the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft with his mid-90s fastball and solid slider. He was the No. 18 overall pick by the Kansas City Royals, who also selected teammate Jackson Kowar later in the round. A slow start and recent hamstring issue likely kept Singer from going higher. Singer showed he was healthy again by going seven strong innings in an NCAA Tournament win over Jacksonville on Saturday. He’s 11-1 with a 2.27 ERA and 98 strikeouts and 19 walks in 95 innings.
Scouting report from MLB.com’s Jim Callis: Kansas City got a nearly MLB-ready pitcher who has a lively fastball and tremendous feel for his slider. I really like the way Singer attacks hitters, and his competitiveness is off the charts.
Singer out-dueled Mize during the regular when Florida beat Auburn 3-1 at McKethan Stadium on April 26. Singer allowed a run on four hits in seven innings with two walks and eight strikeouts to earn the win. Mize allowed three runs on four hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts. Florida’s three runs in the win came on a solo home run by Jonathan India and a two-RBI single by Brady Smith. The stakes will be higher in the rematch. Singer has shown the ability to rise to the occasion in the postseason, going 3-0 with a 2.93 earned run average over his last five starts. Singer has struck out 38 in 30.2 innings during that span. Mize is coming off a win last week in his regional start against Army, allowing a run on four hits in seven innings with two walks and 11 strikeouts.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
GAINESVILLE SUPER REGIONAL
At Alfred A. McKethan Stadium
Saturday: Florida (45-18) vs. Auburn (42-21), noon
Sunday: Florida vs. Auburn, noon
x-Monday: Florida vs. Auburn, 8:30 p.m.
Radio: AM-850, 98.1-FM
Fans can order tickets for the Super Regional Tournament using the following methods: