Five More Gators Drafted on Tuesday

The Florida baseball program took its hits during Monday's first day of the draft, but the big impact came on Tuesday. The Gators had five current players and three high school signees drafted on Tuesday alone as the professional raid on the Florida roster continued through the second draft of the draft. There have been a combined 14 Gators and signees taken through the first 15 rounds.

Nolan Fontana started the day off early when the Houston Astros selected the Florida shortstop with the 61st overall and first pick of the second round. The three-time placement on the SEC All-Defense Team has started at shortstop since the first game of his Florida career. Fontana has also been locked in at the top of the batting order for most of his time in Gainesville.

This year, Fontana has experienced a power surge at the plate. The junior is third on the team with nine home runs. Fontana is hitting .294 with a .414 on-base percentage because of a team-high 46 walks.

Williston High School outfielder and Florida signee Max White went off the board in the second round with the 73rd overall pick to the Colorado Rockies. In the top 73 picks, Florida watched three of the four outfielders signed with the program be drafted by a professional team.

White is a great athlete that can stick in center field. He hits with an open stance and is developing more power. He also has a strong arm that touched the low 90s on the mound during his senior year.

The Los Angeles Dodgers took Florida reliever Steven Rodriguez in the second round with the 82nd overall pick. The first team All-SEC reliever has been dominant this season, posting a 2.08 ERA in 32 relief appearances. In 60.2 innings, Rodriguez has allowed 45 hits and struck out 79 hitters. Opponents are batting just .203 against him.

After he was selected, MLB.com draft analyst Jonathon Mayo said Rodriguez could be the second quickest player to make it to the big leagues after he signs when the Florida season ends.

The raid on the recruiting class continued with back-to-back picks in the third round.

The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Winter Springs High School right-hander Jonathan Sandfort in the third round with the 103rd overall pick. Sandfort has a 6-5, 220-pound frame that sits in the low 90s with his fastball and has a good feel for his changeup. His breaking ball needs some work but has potential to be a useable pitch at the next level.

With the next pick, the Miami Marlins chose Pedro Menendez High School infielder Avery Romero. There are questions about whether Romero will play third base, second base or the outfield at the next level, but no one doubts his ability to hit. The 6-1, 175-pound frame has plenty of power and a knack for hitting the ball on the barrel.

After taking Brian Johnson with the last pick in the first round on Monday, the Boston again took a player out of Gainesville. The Red Sox tabbed Florida closer Austin Maddox in the third round with the 118th overall pick.

In 52.1 innings this season, Maddox has a 2.24 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 52.1 innings to go with his 12 saves, one short of the school record. Opposing batters are hitting .207 against Maddox this season.

With the first pick in the seventh round, the Houston Astros selected Preston Tucker. The senior outfielder will leave Gainesville with one of the best players in school history. Tucker is the only Florida player that has started every game this season, hitting .316 with 15 home runs and 46 RBI.

Tucker broke Florida's single-season RBI record when he was a freshman and drove in 85 runs.

The Detroit Tigers selected Florida ace Hudson Randall in the seventh round with the 244th overall pick. The right-hander has been the Gators' most dominant starter in the past two years. Randall is 8-2 with a 2.83 ERA this season. In 86 innings pitched, Randall just walked just ten hitters and is allowing an opponents batting average of .239.

After being undrafted in 2011, Daniel Pigott was taken in the ninth round on Tuesday by the Cincinnati Reds. The senior leads the Gators with a .321 batting average and is second with 77 hits on the year. Pigott is also second with 11 stolen bases.


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