Baseball Draft Will Impact Gators

The annual Major League Baseball draft is set for Tuesday and Wednesday and as usual the selections and subsequent negotiations will have a major impact on the Florida Gator Baseball program. The process is sure to cause some anxious moments in the weeks ahead for Coach Kevin O'Sullivan and his staff.

Baseball American is far and away the best authority on draft prospects, and the publication projects eight Gator recruits and two current members of the team to be among the 200 best prospects for this year's selection process. Here are the rankings, along with each player's season stats.

#16 Bobby Borchering --- Ft. Meyers Bishop Verot, 1B/3B/RHP .494, 13 HR, 37 RBI

#29 LeVon Washington --- Buchholz High School, 2B/CF .400, 7 HR, 14 SB

#81 Austin Maddox --- Jacksonville Eagle's Trace, Catcher .554, 9 HR, 33 RBI

#114 David Holmberg --- Port Charlotte, LHP 7-0, 0.22, 65 IP, 132/23

#129 Michael Heller --- Sarasota Cardinal Mooney, RHP 5-3, 2.50, 50 IP, 74/33

#163 Michael Zunino --- Cape Coral Mariner, Catcher .464, 11 HR, 37 RBI

#164 Patrick Schuster --- New Port Richey, LHP 8-1, 0.93, 60 IP, 115/29

#198 Brian Johnson --- Cocoa Beach, LHP 5-1, 0.76, 55 IP, 102/13


#66 Billy Bullock --- 3-2 (11) 2.12 46 2/3, 48 K

#94 Matt den Dekker --- .297, 5 HR, 35 RBI, 16-17 SB

Gator stats are entering the Super Regional


There are 30 players chosen in each round plus a variety of "sandwich" picks between rounds to deal with free agent compensation and other factors. Generally speaking college coaches feel like they have little chance of keeping a player in the first three-to-five rounds.

Losing Bullock and den Dekker would hurt the Gators in every area. Bullock has solidified the Florida bullpen, while den Dekker is a solid hitter, above average base stealer and superb defensive outfielder.

As for the prospects, it would be very surprising to see Borchering or Washington in a Gator uniform next season, but Baseball America indicates that all four high school pitchers could very well slide in the draft because they are expected to have "signability" issues. That's baseball talk for a guy wanting much more money than his projected draft "slot" calls for.

If O'Sullivan can hang on to two of the pitchers and one of the catchers the Gators would be in excellent shape. We'll see how it plays out.

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