Photo courtesy of Florida Gators Baseball, @GatorsBB, via Twitter.

MLB Draft: Day Two Recap

The second day of the Major League Baseball draft was just as exciting as the first. As 244 names were called in rounds three through 10, lifelong dreams became reality. Two former Gators were selected on Monday. This brings the total to five Florida draftees thus far.

Rivera and Abner Off the Board

Eleven picks into the third round, Josh Rivera became the fourth Gator to be selected. The Chicago Cubs drafted the senior shortstop with the 81st overall pick.

Rivera broke out in his fourth year at Florida. He batted .348 with 19 home runs and 72 runs batted in. He was also a driving force in the Gators’ push to the College World Series Final. His stats did not go unnoticed as he was awarded with First Team All-SEC, Second Team All-American and College World Series All-Tournament Team Honors.

Rivera was ranked as the 87th best prospect going into the draft, according to MLB.com.

The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Philip Abner with the 175th overall pick in the sixth round. He was the fifth Gator and the third Florida pitcher to be drafted this year.

Furthermore, Abner threw well this season out of the Gator bullpen. In 31.1 innings of work in 2023, he posted a 3.16 ERA with a strikeout to walk ratio of 51-19. In 25 appearances, he collected three saves and had an opponent batting average of just .220.

Arizona’s selection of Abner came as a surprise to some as the 21-year-old left-hander was not ranked in the top-250 draft prospects. Being that he was just a sophomore, he can come back to Florida for the 2024 season and try to get drafted again next year.

Florida Commits in the Draft

Additionally, Gator commit Steven Echavarria was selected by the Oakland Athletics with the 72nd overall pick. The right-handed pitcher was ranked in the top-50 by Perfect Game and was rated the No. 1 high schooler from New Jersey.

Meanwhile, it is unsure if Echavarria will opt to sign with the A’s and begin his professional career or continue his career in the college ranks at Florida.

On the other hand, one 2024 recruit will be joining the Gators baseball team next season. Liam Peterson, who was the 85th ranked prospect going into the draft, was not selected during the first two days. After round 10 was over, Peterson tweeted three gator emojis and tagged the Florida baseball account.

Peterson will be a great addition to an ever-growing Gator pitching staff.

2023 MLB Draft Concludes Tuesday

With two days of the MLB draft in the books, rounds 11 through 20 will take place Tuesday starting at 2 p.m. ET. Furthermore, Colby Halter is a name to look out for as he could be selected in the final 10 rounds.

About Hugh Green

Hugh is a third year student majoring in Journalism: Sports and Media at the University of Florida.

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