FOUR BITS: Hammond, Whitson, Nixon, Alli

By Adam Silverstein
August 17, 2010

1 » Florida Gators redshirt sophomore wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr. disappointed his coaches, teammates and fans with his unlawful actions over the summer, but according to WR coach Zach Azzanni, he is doing his best to make amends on the field. “He’s got a good attitude, Azzanni said, according to the Miami Herald. “It’s like I tell him, ‘You can’t walk around here with your head down all the time.’ He’s a great kid who made a bad – a bad, bad – choice and a bad decision. He knows that. He’s a good kid, and he’s just trying to make amends right now by keeping his mouth shut and playing as hard as he can.”

2 » Florida baseball got some shockingly good news late Monday evening as 2010 MLB Draft first-round pick pitcher Karsten Whitson declined to sign a rookie contract with the San Diego Padres before the league’s midnight deadline. Rather than compete as the No. 9 overall pick for approximately $2 million, Whitson has decided to take his talents (video) to Gainesville, FL, and the Gators. At 7-3 with 123 strikeouts in 55 innings last season, Whitson will not be allowed to re-enter the draft until after his junior season.

3 » Though he got some work as a starter at left tackle last season as a true freshman (five games), sophomore Xavier Nixon is currently competing with redshirt sophomore Matt Patchan for the first-team role and is doing what he can to win the job. “I see it as no different than last year,” Nixon said, according to The Gainesville Sun. “Whether you’re on the blind side or the front side, the guy across from you is trying to kill you, so you better protect yourself and the quarterback.”

4 » Redshirt junior WR Deonte Thompson spoke out about his position-mate redshirt freshman Stephen Alli on Monday, nothing that he has really been coming along. “He’s making strides,” Thompson said, according to the Palm Beach Post. “He’s going to be a great player here in the near future. He’s getting his game down. Coach Z is one of the best things that could happen to him because he’s going to get him back to fundamentals and teaching him the game. Yeah. He’s a freak athlete. He goes up and gets the ball, too.” Azzanni agreed. “Alli needs to figure out what he can do well,” he said. “Once he figures out that his job is going over the top of people and being physical, he’s going to start blossoming some more.”

Photo Credit: Willie J. Allen, Jr./St. Petersburg Times

8 Comments

  1. Mr2Bits says:

    My good friend/neighbor is Karsten Whitson’s agent and I got the call on this late last night. He wanted to let me know that he was helping out Gator Nation and to never say he doesn’t do anything for UF (he’s a Duke Alum). Either way, the Padres were trying to low-ball the hell out of him and he saw getting an education and not rotting in minor league camps for the next 3 years was the best way. Whitson is an absolute stud that will dominate the collegiate level. He is going to be the next Strasburg and exactly what UF needs to get the the big dance.

  2. Evan says:

    Adam, heard anything about how Jonathon Dowling or Mack Brown are doing? Big time recruits, kinda got overshadowed with the monster defensive line class, have you heard anything about how they’re coming along?

    —Don’t mean to post twice—-

  3. It’s OK Evan. I think I forgot to answer this in another thread.

    Have not heard much about Dowling. He’s likely fifth behind Black, Hill, Elam and Evans. Learning curve for him might be a little bit greater than Elam, for example.

    As far as Brown, he’s still trying to adjust to the college game from what RB coach Drayton said. He has plenty of people in front of him, and he’s rehabbing injuries from high school, so there really is no rush as far as he’s concerned.

  4. Wingtee says:

    Unreal news about Whitson… A shocker! Our
    pitching staff is sick!!

  5. SDPads1 says:

    Mr2bits,
    Just curious as to what you mean by low balled? They offered him 2.1 million at the #9 pick…which is right between the #8 pick of 2.15 million and the #10 pick of 2 million. Of course that’s not even bringing up the fact that the Padres and Whitson verbally agreed to a contract right after he was drafted. Also apparently your neighbor left out the fact that he won’t be going to Florida and will be going to community college instead so he doesn’t have to wait 3 years to re-enter the draft.

  6. Mr2Bits says:

    SDPads : Clearly you are a disgruntled Padres fan who has decided to scour the internet in a hope to voice your opinion and clear distaste as to what transpired. Plain and simple, the kid wanted more money and the Padres didn’t wan’t to budge off of what they originally budgeted. He didn’t want 5-6 millions, he wanted 3-3.5. He’d rather go back to college and get his degree than not get paid what he thinks hes worth. I’d also like to add that his agent had no influence on this decision. He advised him that with 2.1 he would be set and its an average deal. Whitson was the one who had concerns that if baseball didn’t work out, he would not have a college degree and having a degree meant allot to him. He said he’d rather hone his skills in college than rot in A/AA ball for the next 3 years.

    Just a heads up, if your going to compare draft picks and what they signed for, you need to first start out by looking at common positions. 8 and 10 are outfielders. Secondly, you need to do some position analysis on where the club is at in regards to that position. With that being said, Whitson thought he deserved money in the “Jameson Taillon” range and had every right to ask for it. If the Padres didn’t want to pay him that, another club will after college.

    Can you also source where you heard he is going to community college…just curious as I think your chasing other internet rumors?

  7. SDPads1 says:

    Disgruntled? Hardly. I’m one of the few that could have cared either way on this pick. He didn’t get signed? No worries, that’s his….errr…I mean his dad & “financial advisors” decision. The 2011 draft class is better anyways. We now get 2 first round picks, one of which is 11th overall. I just found it odd that you were the one spreading false rumors about the Padres “being cheap”. You may want to check your facts before you start posting ridiculous stuff.

    If he thought he deserved Jameson Taillon money then perhaps he should have been drafted higher….not 9th overall or the 5th pitcher overall. The Padres gave Donovan Tate, the #3 overall pick last year, 6.25 million so they aren’t “cheap”, besides it also leaves a sour taste when you agree on something and then go back on your word such as the case here.

    Pomeranz the 5th pick overall got 2.65 million. Loux was hurt and got nothing. Harvey got 2.5 million. Yet you’re saying he “deserved” 3-3.5 million? Also the Padres have some great depth at pitcher in the minor leagues and with Petco Park being a pitchers dream a lot of average free agent pitchers come here and look like superstars so we are never to worried about pitching in San Diego. Any other “head’s up” you want to give me?

    Also the Community College “rumor” was being reported on radio stations out here in SD. And if Whitson was the one who made the decision then why was he “bawling his eyes out” when they didn’t come to an agreement?

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