Coming off a disappointing ending to last season, the Florida Gators Baseball program will look to bounce back come spring. Today was the first day of fall practice and Coach Kevin O’Sullivan joined Steve Russel on the Sport Scene.
With the fall just underway, Sullivan is happy where his squad is at right now. He believes they are in a good spot with personnel and recruiting to begin the year. He also mentioned that he wants to move guys around throughout the fall to see what the best fit would be for utility position players.
A big point of emphasis in the offseason has been the incoming freshman players.
“We have a talented group coming in, but this is a lot different from high school ball.”
With a younger team, players will have to step up to make an impact. One spot, Sully mentioned was in the bullpen. There is no solidified closer, and Sully mentioned searching for some guys to take on that role. He said the bullpen is talented, but young. Florida has six incoming freshman pitchers that will be on the team in the 2022 season.
The Gators were chosen as the best recruiting class in the country, per Perfect Game’s rankings.
While there a lot of incoming players ready to go, the returners will need to provide the experience.
Sullivan specifically mentioned Jud Fabian, the star outfielder who was selected 40th overall by the Boston Red Sox in the 2021 MLB draft. Sullivan was a little surprised by the decision and is excited to have Fabian back for his Junior year.
Kris Armstrong, another strong player from previous years, will be back in the infield as well.
Regarding the pitching staff, Nick Pogue is set to return after missing last year with Tommy John. Sullivan said he recently threw a 30 pitch bullpen and is set to throw a 45 pitch bullpen. If Pogue looks like he did in the bullpen session, Sullivan said he will “take the pitching staff to another level.”
On Oct. 23, the Florida will have an exhibition double header home against Georgia Southern, with two seven-inning games.
The following week, the Gators will meet with Georgia in Jacksonville on Oct. 29, the night before the football game on Oct. 30.
Although the fall is often all about football, fall baseball is back as Florida starts working towards their 2022 campaign.