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College  | Story  | 11/11/2022

Head of the Class: No. 5 Florida

AJ Denny     
Photo: Liam Peterson (Perfect Game)
2023 Recruiting Class Rankings | 2023 High School Player Rankings

5. Florida Gators

Full 2023 Recruiting Class
Head Coach:
Kevin O'Sullivan | Recruiting Coordinator: Chuck Jeroloman

Top 5 Recruits:

Rank Name Pos. High School Hometown State
13 Liam Peterson RHP Calvary Christian Palm Harbor Florida
64 Steven Echavarria RHP Millburn Millburn New Jersey
79 Luke McNeillie RHP Milton Milton Georgia
95 Christian Rodriguez RHP Marjory Stoneman Douglas Coral Springs Florida
108 Reilly Witmer RHP Naples Naples Florida

As we head into Year 16 of the O’Sullivan era, it’s never too early to look ahead to what has the makings of an absolutely loaded ‘23 recruiting class. Gainesville has a history of picking up the country’s top gems, and perhaps no better indication of that than their 2017 national championship. With a staggering number of 95 former Gators being selected in the MLB Draft under O’Sullivan, one can only expect the ‘23 class to add to the long list of success.

With four commits ranked in the top-100, Florida certainly has a stronghold on the top of the class. The most recent of those four came just last week in the form of Steven Echavarria, the No. 1 overall ranked prospect in New Jersey as well as the No. 15 ranked RHP on the market nationally. With a fastball up to 94 mph and a devastating slider to pair, Echavarria is due to haunt the SEC for years to come. Joining the righty arm are Liam Peterson, Luke McNeillie, and Christian Rodriguez, ranked No. 13, No. 79, and No. 95, respectively. Starting with Peterson, the long limbed 6-foot-5, 195-pound righty can run it up to 96 mph on the bump with advanced feel for spin, breaking off tight sliders at 2700+ rpm. Follow that up with McNeillie, who already has the repertoire of a high-level D-I starter, flashing command of a FB-CB-CH mix up to 93 mph. If that wasn’t enough, Rodriguez rounds it out as yet another mid-90s arm with plenty of athleticism and physicality present.

Those four names alone are guys most teams only dream about securing, and we haven’t even gotten to the rest of the class yet. Reilly Witmer, Grayson Smith, Stone Russell, Blake Brookins, and Frank Menendez are all heading to Gainesville as well, boasting rankings within the top-200. It’ll be interesting to see how O’Sullivan and the Gators use Russell, the No. 164 overall ranked prospect who has tremendous upside offensively with effortless carry gap-to-gap, and the defensive side continues to become more and more of an asset to his game. The same goes for Brookins, who finds himself at No. 180 overall with the makings of big time power in the future from the left side. Regardless, it’s safe to say that there’s an abundance of talent that is just waiting to be utilized from top to bottom.

The class is rounded out by seven more top-500 names, all of whom are in state pickups. Names like Alex Philpott (No. 227) and Jacob Gomberg (No. 281) add further depth to the pitching front, while Sammy Mummau (No. 262) fortifies defensive needs as a middle infielder. Mummau is an especially good pickup considering his versatility and athleticism, flashing hands and transfers that could probably go up against any other middle infielder in the class. It’s clear that the Gators have an absolute advantage in recruiting homegrown talent, with 13 of the 16 commits coming from the state of Florida, a stat that shouldn’t surprise anyone looking back on history.

All in all, there’s a reason that the Gators have been to seven College World Series during the O’Sullivan tenure, and it starts before the future stars ever take the field at Condron Family Ballpark.