College : : Story
Wednesday, November 01, 2017

College Fall Notebook: Nov. 1

Mike Rooney        
Photo: Courtney Culbreath


Programs covered: Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Louisiana, South Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Southern California, South Carolina


Florida

The Gators captured the national title in 2017 but making their sixth CWS appearance in eight years was the truly remarkable accomplishment. The core three of Alex Faedo, Mikey Rivera, and Dalton Guthrie will be very difficult to replace and defense up the middle may be the biggest concern for this club in 2018.

Even without Faedo, Kevin O’Sullivan will once again have the highest velocity rotation in America this year. The trio of Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar and Tyler Dyson gives Florida three starters who can run their fastball up to 97 mph. That said, closer Michael Byrne is the glue for this pitching staff and he has stretched out this fall, putting a starting role on the table for the righthander.

J.J. Schwarz and Nelson Maldonado are recovering from offseason shoulder surgeries this fall yet this position player group has still been very impressive. Deacon Liput and Austin Langworthy should make jumps offensively and Jonathan India looks capable of playing shortstop or third base.

Finally, the Gators once again have a stellar freshman class on campus. Brady McConnell was Perfect Game’s No. 29-ranked prospect in the high school class of 2017 and he should be a factor on the left side of the infield. Two-way lefthander Jordan Butler brings advanced baseball instincts and classmate Brady Smith could be a future middle-of-the-order bat. Both are options at first base and DH. And the high velocity pipeline at Florida will continue with freshmen Jack Leftwich and Tommy Mace, both of who have run their fastballs into the mid-90s this fall.


North Carolina


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