Gators baseball recruiting class ranked No. 1

By Adam Silverstein
October 20, 2009

Already ranked the No. 1 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball in September, the Florida Gators 2010 baseball recruiting class earned the same respect from Baseball America on Tuesday. This is the second consecutive top-five class for head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, who is in his third season with the Gators.

In 2009, O’Sullivan coached Florida to a 42-22 record and a SEC East title – their first since 2005 when the Gators made the College World Series. UF finished the season with a berth in the NCAA Super Regionals and rankings of No. 12 (Baseball America), No. 13 (Collegiate Baseball & USA Today/ESPN) and No. 14 (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association – NCBWA).

Of the 2010 class, Baseball America‘s Aaron Fitt wrote: “An overwhelming consensus of coaches and scouts across the country pegged Florida as the nation’s best class thanks to its depth of legitimate star-caliber talent. Austin Maddox, whose raw power and arm strength both rate near 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale, leads a group of four players who ranked among the Top 200 prospects for the 2009 draft; no other class had more than two. Mike Zunino also has plus raw power and plus arm strength but is a better athlete and a more polished receiver than Maddox. The ultra-projectable Michael Heller can already reach 95-96 and flashes a power breaking ball, but he is still honing his command and working his way back from a torn ACL suffered this summer. Brian Johnson is one of the nation’s most polished left-handers, with a strong three-pitch repertoire and a clean arm action. Hudson Randall flew under the radar but would have been a headliner in most other classes thanks to his bulldog mound presence, projection and feel for a quality four-pitch mix. Steven Rodriguez has plus movement on his 88-92 mph fastball and tremendous feel for his change-up. Nolan Fontana, Cody Dent and Kamm Washington all have chances to be above-average college players up the middle, and Bryson Smith could step into the middle of Florida’s lineup immediately, though he has a grooved metal bat swing.”

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