Decimated is probably a little strong, but with a better than good chance that many of the members of the Florida Gators’ 2012 baseball recruiting class will jump straight from high school to the Major Leagues, it seems like an appropriate choice.
One in the first round, two in the supplemental first round, one in the second round, two in the third round, and one in the 40th round. That’s the current count (unless I missed someone, which is entirely possible; the MLB Draft isn’t the easiest to follow) and most of them will never wear a Gators’ uniform.
We’ve briefly talked about Lewis Brinson, Lance McCullers and Jesse Winker, but now it seems like all three could skip their college years. Brinson and Winker are seen as no-brainers to make the leap and McCullers now seems likely to join them.
Originally, it was rumored the money wouldn’t be enough unless McCullers was among the top few picks. That forced him to fall to the Houston Astros at No. 41, but the Astros may have creativity on their side and with that a chance to sign the ace. Houston selected Carlos Correa No. 1 overall. It was a surprise to many, but also a smart move in that they feel they can offer him a smaller bonus than the others projected at the top spot. That frees up money they can give to McCullers and the pitcher’s dad seems to think things will go well for his son.
Outfielder Max White – No. 73 overall to the Colorado Rockies – has already informed Kevin O’Sullivan and the Gators that he will not be coming to Florida. Pitcher Jonathan Sandfort – No. 103 overall to the Pittsburgh Pirates – and shortstop Avery Romero – No. 104 to the Miami Marlins – may not be far behind.
And then there’s pitcher Eric Hanhold. Hanhold holds the distinction of being the very last player drafted. He was selected in the 40th round when the Philadelphia Phillies took him No. 1238 overall.