Gator Job Just got Tougher

As Jeremy Foley begins trying to find the right man for the Gator Baseball program, the new coach has a traditional nemesis preparing to make his job much more difficult. The annual June amateur draft of Major League Baseball is just about certain to cut into the Florida roster.

The draft will probably just impact one guy on the current Gator roster, but the recruiting class is likely to take a significant hit in both quality and quantity.

To start with Florida's top pitcher will have to turn down a lot of cash in order to return for his senior season. Bryan Augenstein's fast finish to a disappointing season was enough to impress the Arizona Diamondbacks. The D-Backs chose the right-hander with their seventh round pick on Thursday. Arizona's organization is deeper with position players than it is with pitchers so signing Augenstein is going to be a pretty high priority. Augenstein ended the season with an 8-5 record and a 4.98 ERA. While those stats are rather pedestrian, he did average seven innings a start and he won his last four starts. He would have given Florida a clear number one starter next season, but now appears certain to move on.

Losing your top starting pitcher is bad enough, but the recruiting class will probably take a much bigger hit. John Talisano, a switch-hitting infielder from Estero High School was the 85th player picked in the draft. The Toronto Blue Jays tabbed Talisano and will be putting plenty of cash on the table. The following round saw Tampa righty Tommy Toledo chosen by the San Diego Padres. Chances are these two will never suit up in Orange and Blue.

There are some other Gator signees who will have pro decisions to make. Lakeland outfielder Evan Chambers was called by Colorado in the 19th round. Williston pitcher/outfielder Jiwan James goes to Philadelphia in the 22nd. Josh Adams, an infielder from Jacksonville is picked by Minnesota in the 30th round, and four rounds later Colorado chose Texas high school pitcher Travis Lawler. It's too early to gauge what the chances of those guys becoming Gators really are, but they will be recruiting job No. 1 for the new head man.

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