Gators in the MLB Draft: Day two and three

The MLB Draft came to a close on Wednesday, and there weren’t many surprises for the Gators.

The Florida team had a total of nine players drafted. After shortstop Richie Martin was taken at No. 20 overall Monday by the Oakland Athletics, the Gators had five more players taken in the top 10 rounds.

The St. Louis Cardinals selected Harrison Bader in the third round. The junior started the year on a tear, and while the numbers have slowed down since the midway point of conference play, Bader has resurfaced since moving to the leadoff spot two weeks ago. This season, Bader is hitting .292 with 15 home runs and 61 RBI, the second most on the team.

The Milwaukee Brewers selected Eric Hanhold in the sixth round. After battling for a weekend starting job in the offseason, Hanhold has started only four times and they’ve all come during midweek games. He’s 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA, but scouts like his 6-5, 205-pound frame.

The Toronto Blue Jays selected Danny Young in the eighth round. The left-hander has made 18 appearances this year, going 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA. Young’s chances have diminished late in the season, but his 89-91 mph fastball made him a target of MLB teams.

The Atlanta Braves selected Taylor Lewis in the ninth round. Florida’s best reliever this season, Lewis has made 29 appearances and gone 6-1 with a 1.24 ERA and a team-high seven saves. In 51 innings, Lewis has allowed 40 hits and 11 walks. Opposing hitters are batting .215 against him.

The Philadelphia Phillies selected third baseman Josh Tobias in the 10th round. The senior leads Florida with a .373 batting average, adding five home runs and a .447 on-base percentage.

The Boston Red Sox picked Bobby Poyner in the 14th round. Poyner has paired with Lewis at the end of games for Florida. As a senior, Poyner has gone 5-2 with a 2.73 ERA and collected four saves.

The Detroit Tigers selected Mike Vinson in the 24th round. Vinson made seven appearances early in the season before they disappeared in conference play. In six innings, he allowed two runs and struck out four hitters with three walks.

The Los Angeles Angels picked Aaron Rhodes in the 28th round. The redshirt junior is 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA, allowing 20 hits and 13 walks in 30.1 innings while striking out 31 hitters.

The Florida recruiting class didn’t suffer many surprises. After outfielder Kyle Tucker (first round/Houston), right-hander Jacob Woodford (supplemental first round/St. Louis) and right-hander Brady Singer (second round/Toronto) all came off the board during the first day, the Gators lost nine signees.

The New York Mets selected left-hander Thomas Szapucki in the fifth round of the draft. The pitcher from Dwyer High School is expected to sign with the team and not make it to Gainesville.

Assuming the first four signees taken begin their professional careers, things get interesting after that.

The Colorado Rockies picked Michael Zimmerman in the 11th round. The left-hander from Gulf Coast High School is expected to sign with the Rockies.

The Milwaukee Brewers selected Jonathan India in the 26th round. A Perfect Game All-American and consensus top-100 overall player in the draft, India fell because of signability concerns and is expected to play for the Gators. He will be in the mix for a starting spot in the middle infield next season.

Three Florida signees were taken in the 39th round -- Mater Academy Charter School outfielder Daniel Reyes (Boston), Oviedo High School infielder Deacon Liput (New York Yankees) and American Heritage High School left-hander Hunter Bowling (San Francisco). All three are expected on campus in the next month.


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