With less than a month to go before the 2021 MLB Draft, more Gators will make their impact in the pros. Meanwhile, four current Gators made the MLB Pipeline top 200 prospect list. The players include pitchers Tommy Mace and Jack Leftwich, outfielder Jud Fabian and catcher Nathan Hickey. As the draft approaches, they will join a host of other former gators on active rosters at the next level.
Former Gators in the MLB
1B Pete Alonso (New York Mets)
Alonso made his majors debut in 2019 and continued on to break the record of most home runs by a rookie. He hit .260/.358/.583 during the 2019 season with a .941 OPS and 148 OPS+. Alonso went on to be named the 2019 National League Rookie of the Year.
PETE ALONSO STRIKES AGAIN pic.twitter.com/lN6HFx2fSZ
— SNY (@SNYtv) June 9, 2021
Although the 2020 season ran short due to COVID-19, he posted 48 hits in 57 games with 16 home runs and 35 RBI. In 2021, he has so far hit .253/.338/.462 with a .800 OPS and 124 OPS+.
RHP Brady Singer (Kansas City Royals)
Singer made his MLB debut in 2020. In his first season with the Royals, he went 4-5 posting a 4.06 ERA and averaging 8.5 strikeouts per 9 innings. In the 2021 season, he has so far posted a 4.76 ERA with 71 strikeouts in 68 innings pitched.
C Mike Zunino (Tampa Bay Rays)
Zunino was drafted in 2012 by the Seattle Mariners and traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in November 2018.
In the 2020 season, Zunino posted 11 hits, four home runs and 10 RBI in 28 games. He contributed to the Rays’ playoff run and World Series appearance as well.
In 2021, Zunino has posted 27 hits with 13 home runs and 27 RBI and hit .194/.291/.504 with .795 OPS.
RHP Jackson Kowar (Kansas City Royals)
Kowar recently made his MLB debut with the Kansas City Royals, marking the Gator’s 75th all-time major debut. However, his pro career began with an unfortunate start.
On the mound against the Los Angeles Angels, Kowar posted four runs, three wild pitches, two walks and zero strikeouts.
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) June 12, 2021
Nonetheless, the former Gator has some talent. Kowar ended his career with the Gators with a 25-6 record, third-best in school history. During his time in Gainesville, he posted a 3.53 ERA with 243 strikeouts.
India made his mark in the pros in 2021 when he joined the Reds opening day roster. And so far he is building a strong case for NL Rookie of the Year.
Assuming the role of leadoff hitter for the reds, India is slugging .294/.415/.471 and posting six doubles and five home runs.
RHP Dane Dunning (Texas Rangers)
Dunning made his majors debut in 2020 with the Chicago White Sox. In his first start, he had a solid game going 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs and striking out seven against Detroit.
In 2020, he made seven starts for the White Sox, finishing the season with a 2-0 record and posting a 3.97 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 34 innings. After that, Dunning was traded to the Rangers on Dec. 7, 2020.
This season, Dunning has made 13 starts in 13 games, posting a 4.57 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 61 innings pitched.