Two former Gators pitchers were recently called up to pitch for their respective major league teams. Brady Singer and Dane Dunning made their MLB debut this season. Gators baseball head coach Kevin O’Sullivan recalls their years at Florida and points out their improvements since going pro.
Dunning made his MLB debut with the Chicago White Sox in their game against the Detroit Tigers. He pitched for 4 1/3 innings, with seven strikeouts and five hits.
Before his debut, Dunning missed the 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. This surgery was necessary after suffering a torn ulnar collateral ligament.
He started with the Gators in 2014 and was drafted 29th overall in the 2016 MLB draft. O’Sullivan thinks that the major improvement he has seen from Dunning is his breaking ball.
Singer made his debut earlier this season with the Kansas City Royals on July 25 against the Cleveland Indians.
Singer pitched five innings, giving up three hits and two runs while striking out seven.
He joined the Gators in 2016 after opting to not sign with the Toronto Blue Jays, who picked him in the second round of the 2016 MLB draft.
Singer was part of the 2017 Gators College World Series championship against the LSU Tigers. He and his team made another appearance in the CWS in 2018.
Singer got drafted 18th overall by the Royals in the 2018 MLB draft.
One of the most outstanding characteristics of Singer was his openness to helping out wherever he could. O’Sullivan described him as a “selfless teammate” that would do whatever he asked him to do.
“He was always willing to take the ball in whatever role we asked him to do…,” O’Sullivan said. “The way he handled everything his junior year I could’ve not asked for anything more.”
The Gators’ New Home
The Gator baseball team will play in their new stadium — Florida Ballpark. The construction of this stadium started in February of 2019 and it is now on its final detailing.
The construction has reached the end of the line but contractors are still adding branded graphics, signage, and other aesthetic touches.
O’Sullivan could only describe this new ballpark as a “perfect fit for Florida.”
“Its details and everything that went into this whole project is more than anything we could have asked for.”
He and some of his coaching staff have already started to move into the new ballpark as they prepare to receive the players.
Will the new ballpark help with recruiting?
Facilities can often be important when recruiting new talent, but O’Sullivan rarely tries to use it as an incentive.
O’Sullivan recognizes that facilities sometimes help, but he prefers to let the quality of their program speak for itself. He acknowledged that he has never had a problem bringing in quality recruiting classes with their old stadium.
Regarding recruiting, O’Sullivan has a different way of using the ballpark as a selling point — if they even decide to use it as one:
O’Sullivan on baseball’s “unwritten” rules
Many baseball fans are familiar with the “unwritten” rules of baseball. “Don’t swing at a 3-0 pitch, especially when your team is ahead by a large margin,” is one of the few.
Debates of these rules came up after Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a homer on a 3-0 pitch against the Texas Rangers.
When it comes to these rules, younger players seem to be ignoring them more throughout the years.
Even though many are arguing whether or not these rules should be followed, O’Sullivan says he would be more focused on what his team is doing, rather than his opponent.