Update: Tigers select Faedo with 18th pick

Alex Faedo was selected with the 18th pick of the first round of the MLB draft by the Detroit Tigers. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Florida junior right-handed pitcher Alex Faedo was taken 18th overall in the first round of the Major League Amatuer draft on Monday night by the Detroit Tigers.
Faedo is the seventh Florida player taken in the first round since Kevin O’Sullivan took over as UF’s coach in 2008. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Tampa native is 7-2 with a 2.60 ERA on the season, with 132 strikeouts in 107.1 innings pitched.
Florida pitchers A.J. Puk (Oakland Athletics) and Dane Dunning (Washington Nationals) were taken in the first round of the draft last year. Former UF pitcher Jonathon Crawford was also taken in the first round by the Tigers in 2013, but has since been traded to the Cincinnati Reds organization.

UF’s Faedo expected to go early in Major League Baseball draft

(Original article) Florida has had six players taken in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft since Kevin O’Sullivan took over as coach in 2008.

The seventh will likely come tonight.

Florida junior right-hander Alex Faedo is expected to go high in the first round of the draft, which will be televised at 7 p.m. on the MLB Network. In its latest mock draft, Baseball America has Faedo going 10th overall to the Los Angeles Angels.

Faedo struck out nine over four scoreless innings in UF’s 2-1, 11-inning Super Regional win over Wake Forest on Saturday. His start was cut short due to a three- hour, 49-minute weather delay. For the season, Faedo is 7-2 with a 2.60 ERA, with 132 strikeouts in 107.1 innings pitched.

“Without a doubt, he’s a college performer,” said MLB Network analyst and former Colorado Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd. “Doesn’t give up a ton of home runs. Above-average fastball, above average slider, just has to improve the command of his fastball. His athleticism is not what I could call elite, but the ball just completely jumps out of his hand.

“When he gets in pro ball, he just has to work on duplicating his delivery a little bit to become more consistent with the command of his fastball. But he’s a no-doubter, first-rounder at some time in the draft.”

Rounds 1-2 of the draft will take place tonight, with rounds 3-10 going on Tuesday and rounds 10-and-up going Wednesday. The Gators have a number of other draft-eligible players who will likely be taken within the first 10 rounds Tuesday, including shortstop Dalton Guthrie, catcher/first baseman JJ Schwarz and catcher Mike Rivera.

O’Dowd said Guthrie is an elite defender at shortstop and compared his defensive ability to current Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias.

“His glove-to-hand transfer is the best in the game,” O’Dowd said. “He’s an acrobatic defender. He’s got great range to both his backhand side and up the middle. He takes great angles to balls and he plays the game with such a high level of energy.

“I think his step back offensively had everything to do with his health, and the lack of consistent repetitions day in and day out.”

Schwarz has had an up-and-down junior year, batting .269 with 10 home runs and 50 RBIs.

“He’s a puzzling guy to me because there’s power and yet there’s streaks of swing and miss with him,” O’Dowd said. “I would have loved to have seen him stay behind the plate. I know with Rivera that wasn’t possible, but I think it would have taken a little bit of pressure off his bat if he had a chance to catch a little bit more.”

Rivera missed a month of the season with a broken bone in his hand, but has batted .240 with two home runs and 23 RBIs while throwing out 55.6 percent of runners attempting to steal this season.

“He not only can catch, he can throw, he handles the staff exceptionally well,” O’Dowd said. “You think about the guys he’s had to catch the last few years at the University of Florida, he’s really caught some power arms and the way Sully likes to run them in and out, he’s caught a lot of them … catching is in short supply, I expect him to get drafted in some point in time, too.”