(Photo Credit: Tim Casey, floridagators.com)
As the 2017 summer league season comes to an end, it is time to roll out CBBSN’s collegiate summer league updates from around the country. Over the next two weeks, our scouts will be sharing how their school’s players have fared over the season, and how they look to project going into fall practice.
With the glory of winning the National Championship in the rearview mirror, head coach Kevin O’ Sullivan and the Gators look to reload and defend their title during the 2018 season. For 15 Gators players that journey begins in the collegiate summer league. With each player looking to build on a successful season and work at their craft, here is a look at how each of these 15 Gator’s fared this summer.
Cape Cod League:
Jonathon India– Harwich Mariners, 19 GP, (.273/.390/), 1 HR, 3 RBI
India built on a strong sophomore year during his time with the Mariners and looks to be the centerpiece of a strong offense this coming season. India showed an excellent eye and patience as evidenced by his 13 walks in just 66 at-bats.
Deacon Liput–Falmouth Commodores, 1 GP, 0 for 4 1K
Liput played in only one game for Falmouth going 0-for-4 with a strikeout. With Liput only playing in one game during the summer season, he will try and improve upon an up and down sophomore season. Liput is a fantastic defender at second base, but has to seek more consistency at the plate in order to be successful in the future.
Austin Langworthy– Falmouth Commodores, 20 GP, (.243/.333/.257), 0 HR, 11 RBI
Langworthy joined Liput with the Commodores, but hit just .243 over 20 games with the team. Langworthy is another Gator who will have a big role with the team in 2018 and needs to improve his launch angle and situational hitting to be a force in the middle of the order. Langworthy shows great patience, but this can hurt him as he passes up good pitches.
Michael Bryne–Cotuit Kettleers, 6 GP, 13 IP, 0.69 ERA, 1 SV, 13 K
After a breakout sophomore season, which saw him break the Florida record for saves in a season, Bryne has continued his dominance into the summer league. He has been sharp all summer and is solidified as the ninth inning man for the Gators.
Blake Reese–Cotuit Kettleers, 1 GP, 0 for 2, 1 RBI, 1 SB
Reese came up huge during the College World Series with big hit after big hit. During this summer, he only appeared in one summer league game for the Kettleers going 0-for-2 with a RBI.
Andrew Baker–Madison Mallards, Hitting: 16 GP, (.196/.348/.214), 0 HR, 6 RBI / Pitching: 9 GP, 22.1 IP, 2.41 ERA, 20K
Baker had a quiet freshman year for the Gators only appearing in a few games. Based on his performances he figures to pitch more than he hits and will likely be in the mix for either a mid-week starter role or a bridge in the bullpen to get to Bryne.
Tyler Dyson–Madison Mallards, 5 GS, 28.1 IP, 4-0, 1.58 ERA, 29 K
Dyson came out of nowhere last season and truly was the driving force behind the Gators’ run to the National Championship. Without Dyson the Gators’ do not win the College World Series. He has continued his dominance in the summer league going 4-0 with a sub- 2 ERA. Dyson will slot in as a weekend starter alongside Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar creating one of the most dynamic rotations in college baseball.
Nate Brown–Madison Mallards, 6 GS, 21.1 IP, 0-2, 3.37 ERA, 24 K
Brown had a strong summer league showing for the Madison Mallards alongside teammates Dyson and Baker. He showed he has swing and miss stuff will his 24 strikeouts in just 21 1/3 innings pitched. Brown will be an interesting piece for O’Sullivan’s rotation, but likely seems headed toward the first weekday starter behind Singer, Kowar and Dyson.
Austin Bodrato–Kenosha Kingfish, Hitting: 25 G, (.293/.383/.359), 1 HR, 10 RBI / Pitching: 3 G, 4.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 4 K
Bodrato comes into UF as a highly-touted freshman that could contribute in a big way his first year. Bodrato plays both ways and it will be interesting to watch how O’ Sullivan utilizes him.
Nick Long–Kenosha Kingfish, 9 G, 4 GS, 32.2 IP, 4.68 ERA, 41 K, 13 BB
Like Bodrato, Long comes in as another highly sought after high school prospect. Long is a two-way pitcher who has transitioned into a primary pitcher. He sits in the upper 80’s with his fastball and has shown a good feel for his curveball. Long could be an important part of a re-tooled Gators bullpen.
Billy McKay–Kenosha Kingfish, 27 G, 36.2 IP, 2.70 ERA, 10 SV, 38 K
The third member of the three incoming freshman Gators that are playing for Kenosha is Billy McKay. The pitcher out of Plant City, Florida has been fantastic in his first taste of collegiate baseball. Recording 10 saves and a 2.70 ERA, McKay could be a great bridge to get to Bryne in the ninth.
Keenan Bell–Charlottesville TomSox, 11 G, (.158/.256/.237), 0 HR, 3 RBI
Although Bell struggled in a limited showing during the summer, only batting .158, he should see increased playing time with the Gators after impressing the team as a freshman. Bell has great raw power and can drive the ball to all fields and will look to provide the power that was lacking in 2017.
Cole Maye–Charlottesville TomSox, 3 G, 2 GS, 11.2 IP, 2.31 ERA, 11 K, 10 BB
Maye played sparingly his freshman year because of the depth Florida has in its rotation and bullpen. This summer he pitched well in the Valley League, but will need to clean up his control, as he totaled 10 walks in 11 2/3 innings pitched if he wants to be successful when the season starts.
New York Collegiate Baseball League
Kirby McMullen–Olean Oilers, Hitting: 18 G, (.391/.488/.672), 4 HR, 22 RBI/ Pitching: 3 G, 3 GS, 18.1 IP, 4.41 ERA, 20 K, 4 BB
McMullen is another huge piece of this incoming class and has shown incredibly well during this summer. McMullen is another two-way player who will give versatility to the Gators. He hit .391 while showing good power and a disciplined approach that allowed him to only strikeout eight times in 64 plate appearances. O’Sullivan will have a lot of options at his disposal for the upcoming season.
Cameron Weinberger–Olean Oilers, 8 G, 8 GS, 52 IP, 2.59 ERA, 43 K, 16 BB
Weinberger took a redshirt year this past season after not seeing any playing time. He looks for this season to be different as he posted a 4-0 record with a 2.59 ERA this summer. If he continues to pitch strong he will have a valid case to get some weekday starts early in the season, as his experience from last year will help.