Freshman right-hander Dane Dunning continues to impress. Dunning and Brett Morales have been the two most impressive freshmen this far into fall, and Dunning might even be the most impressive pitcher on the team to this point. He's throwing three pitches for strikes. I wrote last week about how good his curveball is -- and it still was on Wednesday -- but the changeup also produced swings and misses on Wednesday. He's going to contribute right away.
My first look at Morales was on Wednesday. I heard plenty of positive things about his early outings in the fall, and it lived up to the hype on Wednesday. Morales effortlessly spotted his fastball and blew it by veteran hitters. He started his breaking ball at the right-handed hitters and had it fall over the inside part of the plate for a strike looking at least twice. His changeup produced some whiffs, too.
Karsten Whitson made a quick appearance on Wednesday. He's still only throwing fastballs and changeups, and the hitters he's facing know that. There is better contact off him with that being the case, but that isn't much of a concern. The velocity is back, which is the most important thing at this point. He's expected to be ready for the stat of the season.
Wednesday was also my first look at Logan Shore. It started rough, but he settled in as the three-inning stint went on. He's a good athlete with an easy, repeatable delivery. He located his changeup well, showcasing plenty of arm-side run.
A.J. Puk wasn't sharp on Wednesday. He fell behind in counts and gave up hard contact, allowing three runs in two innings. He had two strikeouts with runners in scoring position, but it wasn't his best outing.
The coaches continue to rave about the transformation of sophomore right-hander Eric Hanhold. He was better on Wednesday than last week but still not very sharp. However, he's throwing more consistent strikes and creating weak contact. He has the body to continue filling out and be a good pitcher for this team.
Aaron Rhodes had a crisp first inning of work. He arm slot is more upright than it was last year, but he still produced ground balls and worked fast.
Ryan Harris did the same thing. Harris and Rhodes both had scouts watching close behind the plate, and Harris hit 93-94 mph in his two innings of work.
Josh Tobias continued his strong fall. He hit a long home run to left-center field off Danny Young. He has played mostly second base this fall and looked good there, too. It would be a big boost to this team if Tobias put it all together and had a strong junior year.
Harrison Bader played well as a freshman, but as I wrote last week, he continues to look stronger and make harder contact. He looks capable of handling center field this year on defense, and I'd imagine that's where Florida starts him at in the spring.
The most impressive freshman at the plate this year has been Pete Alonso. He's playing third base, even though I expect him to see most of his time at first base in the spring, but he has serious power and can really hit. It might be hard for the Florida coaches to keep him out of the lineup this year. His defense has also improved throughout the early weeks at third base.