The University of Florida Gators baseball team started fall practice this week at McKethan Stadium. Last season, Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan led the 2017 team to the National Championship where they won the title over LSU.
The defending National Champions are now beginning their fall workouts and scrimmages this week to prepare for another successful season.
The New Season
O’Sullivan mentions four new players who he says will immediately contribute.
Number 18 overall draft pick, Alex Faedo, signed to the Detroit Tigers after he was name Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament. Faedo was Florida’s lead-off pitcher, leading the Gators to their first National Championship.
A total of eight players were draft picks in the 2017 MLB Draft. Those players are: Alex Faedo, Dalton Guthrie, Mike Rivera, Mark Kolozsvary, David Lee, Frank Rubio, Deacon Liput, JJ Schwarz.
As a result, O’Sullivan recruited pitchers to join Andrew Baker, Austin Bodrato, Tyler Dyson, Billy McKay, Michael Byrne, Nick Long, Kirby McMullen, Cole May, Andrew Baker, Jackson Kawar, and Brady Singer.
A 2018 depth chart has yet to be released, but Florida added new pitchers Jake Barrett, Jack Leftwich, Cameron Weinberger, Jordan Butler, Connor Churchill, Hunter McMullen, Felix Garcia, Tommy Mace.
The pitching schedule for the fall scrimmages for Thursday (10/12), Friday (10/13), and Sunday (10/15) can be found here.
O’Sullivan says a few of his new pitchers are able to pitch and play other field positions, too.
O’Sullivan says he is “excited about the new kids, but obviously they have a long way to go.”
O’Sullivan Names JJ Schwarz Captain
JJ Schwarz, a 6-foot-2 senior was picked to be the captain of the team this season. O’Sullivan says that Schwarz will continue to stay behind the plate as catcher, but he will also play 1st base. This will allow new players to gain experience behind the plate, advancing the team for the future when Schwarz leaves.
Here’s what Schwarz has to say about his new role:
— Ryan Young (@RyanYoungSEC) October 11, 2017
According to FloridaGators, UF has eight national seeds in 10 seasons and earned a top four seed seven times in the past eight seasons under head coach Kevin O’Sullivan. He has coached the Gators for 10 seasons, and is looking forward to the start of a new season.