Scrimmage report: 10/29

The Gators threw multiple freshmen on the mound Tuesday in an eight-inning scrimmage.

I've seen multiple outings from almost all of Florida's freshmen pitchers in this class. There are two that stand out to me at this point in fall practice -- Dane Dunning and Brett Morales.

Dunning continues to impress. The 6-3, 190-pound freshman is throwing three pitches for strikes and dominating some of Florida's veteran hitters. His fastball is in the 89-91 range with a curveball that continues to get swings and misses, despite the Florida hitters seeing it multiple times this fall.

The changeup is his third pitch, but Kevin O'Sullivan has been working with him on the pitch, and it continues to improve. He got catcher Taylor Gushue out on a softly hit comebacker on his changeup, and O'Sullivan was very complimentary of the pitch on Tuesday.

Brett Morales gave up a few hard hit balls on Tuesday because he didn't locate as well as previous outings. The stuff isn't in questions and probably won't be at any point in his career at Florida. He throws hard. Morales touched 94-95 at times on Tuesday with a good curveball. It's hard to see him not pitching in a key role as long as this continues.

This was my second look at freshman right-hander Logan Shore. The Coon Rapids, Minn. native is a good athlete and has a repeatable delivery. His slider looked the best it has all fall. Shore wasn't afraid to throw it early in the count to get ahead with an easy strike. He was touted for his pitchability in high school, and he has transferred that to fall practice. Shore throws strikes with all of his pitches and has attacked hitters.

I've seen A.J. Puk pitch three times this fall, and I haven't been blown away yet. He'll be fine in time, but he has fallen behind in counts and given up some hard hit balls so far. He started the scrimmage on Tuesday by falling behind Casey Turgeon in a 3-1 count, and after throwing a strike to make the count full, Turgeon hit a 3-2 fastball well over the fence in right field.

Puk just hasn't put himself in a position to have success because he's falling behind. This isn't rare for a freshman. At this point in their college careers, the newcomers are trying to balance a lot and get settled on the mound. Puk hasn't done that yet.

This is the second time I've seen Shaun Anderson, and I like what he can do. He won't blow anyone away, but the 6-4, 225-pound freshman throws strikes and has a good curveball. The coaches love that he's a strike thrower.

Pete Alonso continues to impress with the bat. Even his outs are impressive. He flew out again Puk on a fly ball to deep right-center field. His opposite field power is rare for a freshman. He also saw increased time at first base on Tuesday and looked fairly comfortable. He moved well around the bag and seemed comfortable while stretching.

Braden Mattson was signed to be the backup catcher this fall, but the Florida coaches are moving him around to find ways to get his bat in the lineup. He worked out at first base for half of the scrimmage, and as you would expect for a catcher, made some nice plays on balls thrown in the dirt on the way to first.

Mattson's bat has plenty of power. The swing is a little long, which could plague him against good velocity, but Mattson seems like a candidate to get time as the designated hitter. If his impressive play continues, it would also make the coaches comfortable giving Gushue more days off behind the plate.

Richie Martin has added 10-15 pounds of muscle this offseason and is running more this fall. Expect that to be the plan during the season. The broken finger he suffered against Miami slowed his growth last year, but the Gators want to unleash him on the bases this season. His defense continues to impress, making a barehanded play on a slow roller hit to him at shortstop on Tuesday.

Former Florida All-American Brian Johnson was at Tuesday's practice.

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