Four Florida players spent the beginning of their offseason with the Collegiate National Team. Left-hander A.J. Puk, center fielder Buddy Reed, catcher/designated hitter J.J. Schwarz and right-hander Logan Shore joined the team late because of the Gators’ deep run in the College World Series.
Reed was the star of the group with USA Baseball. The rising junior hit .326 (15-46) with three doubles, 12 RBI and four stolen bases while being caught only once. Schwarz struggled, hitting .118 (4-34) with one double and one home run. It’s not uncommon for a player to struggle to Schwarz did coming off his freshman season, the first time he has played anywhere near a schedule as long as the one Florida played during the spring.
Puk continued to build on his breakout sophomore season at Florida. With the Collegiate National Team, Puk went 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA, giving up 12 hits and two walks to go with nine strikeouts in 12 innings of work. Shore, on the other hand, struggled. The right-hander was 2-1 with an 8.00 ERA, the second highest on the team. In nine innings of work, Shore allowed 10 hits and eight earned runs while striking out 10 hitters. Opponents hit .294 off Shore.
Florida first baseman Pete Alonso is hitting .291 with three doubles and 12 RBI. The power hasn’t translated to his time with the Bourne Braves in the Cape Cod League, but the rising junior has recorded a hit in 14 of his last 15 games.
With the Wareham Gatemen, right-hander Shaun Anderson is seeing mixed results. In 16 innings, Anderson has allowed 11 hits and five walks while posting a 5.62 ERA.
The Gators will be searching for bullpen depth next season, and Anderson will make a push for an important role. Left-hander Scott Moss will be doing the same. Moss missed his first two seasons in Gainesville after undergoing Tommy John Surgery, but he’s having a good summer. With the Madison Mallards in the Northwoods League, Moss threw 20.2 innings while giving up 16 hits and striking out 30 hitters. The issue came with his 16 walks, but command is often the last thing that comes back in recovery from Tommy John Surgery.
Outfielder/first baseman Jeremy Vasquez is expected to be another important piece of the Florida lineup in 2016. He’s having a strong summer with the Kenosha Kingfish in the Northwoods League. Vasquez is hitting .305 with three home runs, 18 RBI and 14 runs scored. He’ll likely hit in the middle of the Florida order next season.