Gators add second-round arm to pitching staff

Florida was already returning one of the best pitching staffs in the country for the 2016 season, and the Gators got another boost on Friday afternoon.

Florida signee Brady Singer will pitch for the Gators and wait to begin his professional career. The Toronto Blue Jays selected Singer in the second round with pick No. 56 overall, but the two sides were unable to reach a deal before Friday’s 5 p.m. deadline. The slot value for pick No. 56 overall was $1,091,200.

Singer has been in school at Florida, going through Summer B classes. Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan is out of town but said Singer called him around 4:40 to give him the final word that he would pitch for the Gators.

"He's got a tremendous sinker, really good slider and very projectable," O'Sullivan said. "He's got really good stuff and really talented. He went in the second round and he's obviously a second-round talent. We're really excited he's coming to Florida."

The 6-5, 180-pounder gives the Gators another impressive arm in the freshman class. As a senior at Eustis (FL) High School, the right-hander pitched at 91-94 mph and ranked as the No. 50 overall player and No. 17 right-handed pitcher in the Perfect Game high school rankings. Singer joins outfielder Daniel Reyes (No. 38) and infielder Jonathan India (No. 70) as top-100 prospects to make it through the draft and play as freshmen at Florida this year.

Singer joins a Florida pitching staff loaded with quality arms for the 2016 season. The Gators return four pitching that made at least 12 starts last season -- Dane Dunning (5-2, 4.03 ERA), Alex Faedo (6-1, 3.23 ERA), A.J. Puk (9-4, 3.81 ERA) and Logan Shore (11-6, 2.72). Florida also landed a late 2015 commitment from Jackson Kowar, who previously signed with Clemson but asked for his release when head coach Jack Leggett was fired. Kowar ranked No. 107 on Perfect Game in the 2015 MLB Draft rankings. American Heritage (FL) High School left-hander Hunter Bowling, who finished at No. 108, also made it to school.

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