Monday, December 6 2021

Prior to the 2021 MLB Draft, the Gators had the top-ranked 2021 recruiting class; however, they lost five high school signees and their two junior-college signees to the draft.

Even with seven signees going pro, Kevin O’Sullivan and the Gators still kept the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. Perfect Game currently ranks UF’s class as the best in the country, edging out Vanderbilt by two points. UF will have 16 freshmen this upcoming season and also added former Coastal Carolina catcher BT Riopelle from the transfer portal.

With those 16 signees who are already on campus, four of them were ranked in Perfect Game’s Top 100 and three of them were also Perfect Game All-Americans. Florida lost its top three signees (RHP Andrew Painter, RHP Chase Petty and OF Jay Allen) within the first 30 picks of the draft.

Lakeland Christian shortstop Jake Fox was also selected in the third round and signed with the Cleveland Indians. TNXL Academy right-handed pitcher Kyle Larsen was drafted in the 18th round and signed with the Texas Rangers.

Lakeland Christian outfielder Ty Evans was the only Florida signee selected in the 2021 MLB Draft who honored his commitment to the University of Florida. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 20th round.

The last time Florida had the top-ranked recruiting class on Perfect Game was the 2013 recruiting class. Out of the 19 signees in that class, five were selected in the 2013 MLB Draft. The class that made it to campus featured some major league players as well, including left-handed pitcher AJ Puk. He was the top prospect in Florida’s class and selected by the Oakland A’s in the first round of the 2016 MLB.

The former Gator from that recruiting class that has had the most success in the MLB is first baseman Pete Alonso. The Plant High School product was the nation’s 116th-ranked prospect and seventh-ranked third baseman.

After three years at Florida, Alonso was selected in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the New York Mets. He made his MLB debut in 2019 and won the N.L. Rookie of the Year, broke the record for most home runs by a rookie and is a two-time Home Derby Champion.

Some additional Florida baseball players who were drafted or made it to the MLB from that class are RHP Logan Shore, RHP Shaun Anderson, RHP Dane Dunning, LHP Kirby Snead, LHP Scott Moss and OF Buddy Reed.

Stay tuned to Gators Territory.

Source: Yahoo Sports


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