Florida Gators College Baseball Preview 2024

At a solid #2 in the KnupSports preseason poll is the Florida Gators. Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan enters his 17th season with a 681-319 overall record and was 54-17 in 2023 . They were 20-10 in the SEC.
One of the real challenges for the Gators in 2024 is replacing some very good talent. First-rounders Wyatt Langford and Hurston Waldrep are gone, as are shortstop Josh Rivera, catcher B.T. Riopelle and No. 1 starter Brandon Sproat.

In 2024, all eyes are on Jac Caglianone. He may end up the top pick in the draft as a two-way player. Last season he hit .323 and smacked 33 home runs. As a pitcher, he went 7-4 with a 4,34 ERA in 18 starts. . Florida last season led the nation in home runs and looks like that could be in the cards again with Caglianone,

Luke Heyman (12 HR) and Cade Kurland (17) all returning, and the additions of sophomores Colby Shelton (25 at Alabama) and Brody Donay (12 HR at Virginia Tech) through the transfer portal could return the team as home run leader in collegiate baseball.
On the mound, Florida returns closer Brandon Neely, who last season led the SEC with 13 saves. His high-leverage experience is a differentiator among the top contenders. Likely Friday or Saturday starter is Cade Fisher, a lefty hurler that was 6-0 with a 3.10 ERA as he makes the move from relief to the rotation. He is primarily a three pitch guy and pinpoint control that baffles opposing hitters. This is a huge jump for Fisher and needs to be watched.

Florida is again one of the most talented teams in the nation. There should be little question that the Gators will score plenty of runs this spring, as long as its second-year players can avoid the sophomore slump. Run prevention is not as clear cut. Fisher, Peterson and Caglianone have the upside to become one of the better rotations in the country, but they’re a bit light on experience—even with Caglianone last season making 14 starts against major-conference opponents.
The transition at shortstop and catcher, where Florida also lost significant experience, will also be something to watch. It may take the Gators a few weeks to hit their stride.

Let’s look at some of the playerson the roster for 2024
Dale Thomas INF 5-10 205 R/R SR De Leon Springs, Fla. / Bishop Moore (Coastal Carolina)
2 Ty Evans OF 6-2 225 R/R JR Auburndale, Fla. / Lakeland Christian
3 Cade Fisher LHP 6-4 210 L/L SO Dalton, Ga. / Northwest Whitfield County
4 Cade Kurland INF 5-11 195 R/R SO Tampa, Fla. / Berkeley Prep
5 Sammy Mummau INF 6-0 185 R/R FR Palm Harbor, Fla. / Dunedin
6 Tyler Shelnut INF/OF 6-2 200 R/R SR Lake City, Fla. / Fort White (Santa Fe CC)
8 Christian Rodriguez RHP 6-0 210 R/R FR Coral Springs, Fla. / Marjory Stoneman Douglas
9 Luke McNeillie RHP 6-3 185 L/R FR Milton, Ga. / Milton
10 Colby Shelton INF 6-0 200 L/R SO Lexington, S.C. / Bloomingdale (Alabama)
11 Michael Robertson OF 6-2 195 L/R RS SO Venice, Fla. / Venice
12 Liam Peterson RHP 6-5 205 R/R FR Palm Harbor, Fla. / Calvary Christian
13 Ryan Slater RHP 6-3 205 R/R RS JR Palm Harbor, Fla. / East Lake
14 Jac Caglianone LHP/1B 6-5 250 L/L JR Tampa, Fla. / Plant
15 Landon Russell INF/OF 6-1 190 R/R SO Phenix City, Ala. / Russell County (Gulf Coast CC)
16 Hayden Yost OF 6-1 195 L/L FR Tampa, Fla. / Sickles
17 Jacob Gomberg LHP 5-10 175 L/L FR Coral Springs, Fla. / Marjory Stoneman Douglas
18 Pierce Coppola LHP 6-8 255 L/L RS SO Verona, N.J. / Verona
20 Jake Clemente RHP 6-3 220 R/R RS FR Coral Springs, Fla. / Marjory Stoneman Douglas
21 Caden McDonald RHP/1B 6-3 205 R/R FR Tampa, Fla. / Sickles
22 Brandon Neely RHP 6-3 210 R/R JR Seville, Fla. / Spruce Creek
23 John Martinez INF 5-11 190 R/R FR Orlando, Fla. / Montverde Academy
24 Blake Brookins OF 6-5 215 L/R FR Palmetto Bay, Fla. / Miami Palmetto
25 Reilly Witmer RHP 6-4 220 R/R FR Naples, Fla. / Naples
26 Tanner Garrison C 6-3 220 R/R SR Dallas, Tex. / Cardinal Newman (Coastal Carolina)
27 Fisher Jameson RHP 6-5 240 R/R JR Lake Worth, Fla. / Park Vista
28 Luke Heyman C 6-4 220 R/R SO Longwood, Fla. / Lake Brantley
29 Brody Donay C 6-5 235 R/R SO Lakeland, Fla. / Lakeland Christian (Virginia Tech)
30 Ashton Wilson OF/INF 6-0 195 R/R SO Orlando, Fla. / TNXL Academy (Charleston Southern)
31 Frank Menendez LHP 6-1 230 L/L FR Miami, Fla. / Doral Academy Charter
32 Grayson Smith RHP 6-2 205 R/R FR Rocky Face, Ga. / McCallie School
33 Robert Satin LHP 6-3 215 L/L FR Tampa, Fla. / Plant
34 Alex Philpott RHP 6-5 175 R/R FR Tampa, Fla. / Strawberry Crest

41 Blake Purnell RHP 6-3 220 R/R RS JR Boynton Beach, Fla. / St. Thomas Aquinas
44 Armando Albert INF 5-11 160 L/R SR* Plantation, Fla. / Belen Jesuit (Santa Fe CC / Florida Atlantic)
48 Hunter Jones RHP 6-3 170 R/R FR Anthony, Fla. / North Marion
50 Jaylen Guy OF 6-0 200 R/R SR Greensboro, N.C. / Southeast Guilford (Liberty)

Three names standout as possible difference makers in 2024.
Christian Rodrigues. RHP from Margery Stoneman Douglas High school
Asthon Wilson a utility player in the r\true sense. He can plug any hole with glove and bat
Alex Philpott RHP 6-5 175 R/R FR Tampa, Fla. / Strawberry Crest

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