On the opening night of the Major League Baseball Draft, five University of Florida juniors were selected in the first two rounds.
In the first round left-handed pitcher AJ Puk was selected sixth overall to the Oakland Athletics. There were some who believed Puk might have been the overall number one pick of the draft due to his 6″7, 230 pound frame as well as his 97 mile an hour fastball, curveball and developing change up.
TO THE A'S BABY. SO proud. pic.twitter.com/LpgTSQy0Ej
— Jessi Puk (@jessi_puk) June 10, 2016
Also taken in the first round was pitcher Dane Dunning, who was picked by the Washington Nationals 29th overall. Dunning, the Fleming Island native says that being drafted has always been a dream of his since he was a kid.
Nats exec Kris Kline says Florida right-hander Dane Dunning will be developed as a starter. #Nats
— Chase Hughes (@chasehughesCSN) June 10, 2016
Gator players are no strangers to the Oakland A’s; this is the second year in a row that a Gator went in the first round after they took shortstop Richie Martin last year with the 20th pick. After selecting Puk, the A’s took Gator pitcher Logan Shore in the second round with the 47th overall pick.
Right after that another Gator was called as outfielder Buddy Reed was selected by the San Diego Padres. And first baseman Peter Alonso was selected 64th overall to the New York Mets despite missing 10 games with a broken hand this season. With Puk and Dunning going in the first round this year, it now makes six players under Gator coach Kevin O’Sullivan that have been drafted in the first round of the MLB Draft since his arrival at UF nine seasons ago.
The draft continues today at 1 p.m with rounds 3-10 and Saturday at 12 for rounds 11-40, all on MLB.com.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) June 10, 2016