It was an eventful night for the Florida Gators with five current and future Gators selected in the first round and supplemental first round of the MLB Draft.
Junior catcher Mike Zunino started the night off after being selected third overall by the Seattle Mariners. Zunino became the highest drafted Gator in school history, but things didn’t end there. Junior pitcher Brian Johnson was selected No. 31 overall by the Boston Red Sox, becoming the last player selected in the first round. Three (potential) future Gators were also selected – Lewis Brinson, Lance McCullers and Jesse Winker.
Johnson – a jack of all trades at Florida – was selected as a pitcher and it appears that’s where the Red Sox will work him first. Equally as dangerous at the plate, there are plenty of possibilities for Johnson if he decides to forego his senior season at Florida and make the jump to the Major Leagues.
Brinson – a Coral Springs (Pompano Beach, FL) outfielder – was selected by the Texas Rangers with the No. 29 overall pick. One of the faster players in the draft, Brinson also has a great arm and possesses superb athleticism.
A left-handed pitcher from Jesuit (Tampa, FL), McCullers was one of the nation’s top high school players. It was rumored that he would be difficult to sign due to lower bonuses this year and that could have contributed to his fall to the Houston Astros at No. 41. Falling into the supplemental first round may have solidified McCullers choice to pitch at Florida.
Winker – an outfielder from Olympia (Orlando, FL) – was selected No. 49 overall by the Cincinnati Reds. Seen as a hitter with a big bat and the potential for plenty of power, Winker currently plays center field, but could move to the outside.