Two UF Players, Three Signees Drafted Monday

The talent Florida has been building in recent years had all been pointing towards Monday night—the start of the 2012 MLB Draft. With a majority of its contributors as upperclassmen, the Florida roster braced for the worst. Through the first day, it was the recruiting class that took the biggest hit through the first round and supplemental first round on Monday.

After Mike Zunino was taken with the third overall pick in the MLB Draft, there was a lull before the next Florida related player came off the board.

That changed when the Texas Rangers drafted Lewis Brinson with the 29th overall pick. The Coral Springs High School outfielder is a strong defender, can run, has a plus arm and good power. The one tool that teams worry about is his consistent hitting ability, but the consensus among teams was that the risk was worth it. Brinson won the home run derby at the Under Armour All-American game last summer, putting him on the map as a first round talent for most scouts.

The official Rangers website is reporting that Brinson is already close to an agreement with Texas.

Two picks later, Brian Johnson came off the board to the Boston Red Sox with the 31st pick overall and the final selection in the first round. The left-hander is 8-4 with a 3.56 ERA during his junior season. Johnson has put together three straight strong outings going into the draft that showed scouts what he could do.

Lance McCullers went off the board to the Houston Astros in the supplemental round with the 41st overall pick. McCullers will be the key recruit to track before the signing deadline of July 13. He was projected to go in the top ten picks by some because of his arm that touched 99 mph during his senior season, where he sported a 0.18 ERA.

McCullers can choose to play at Florida and reenter the draft when he is eligible, or he can sign with the Astros.

The final Florida signee that came off the board was Jesse Winker, who went with the 49th overall pick to the Cincinnati Reds. The Olympia High School outfielder had a down senior spring, but his left-handed bat was intriguing enough for the Reds to take him early.

Day two of the draft begins at 12 p.m. on Tuesday.

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