Florida starting pitcher Alex Faedo, left, and catcher Mike Rivera are top prospects in this week’s MLB draft. Brad McClenny/Staff Photographer
Florida has had six players taken in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft since Kevin O’Sullivan took over as coach in 2008.
What: The 2017 Major League Baseball draft, Rounds 1-2. It will continue Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. and Wednesday at 11 a.m.
When: Round 1 starts at 7 p.m. The draft will not be televised Tuesday or Wednesday, but will be streaming at MLB.com.
TV: MLB Network
The seventh will likely come tonight.
Florida junior right-hander Alex Faedo is expected to go high in the first round of the draft, which will be televised at 7 p.m. on the MLB Network. In its latest mock draft, Baseball America has Faedo going 10th overall to the Los Angeles Angels.
Faedo struck out nine over four scoreless innings in UF’s 2-1, 11-inning Super Regional win over Wake Forest on Saturday. His start was cut short due to a three- hour, 49-minute weather delay. For the season, Faedo is 7-2 with a 2.60 ERA, with 132 strikeouts in 107.1 innings pitched.
“Without a doubt, he’s a college performer,” said MLB Network analyst and former Colorado Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd. “Doesn’t give up a ton of home runs. Above-average fastball, above average slider, just has to improve the command of his fastball. His athleticism is not what I could call elite, but the ball just completely jumps out of his hand.
“When he gets in pro ball, he just has to work on duplicating his delivery a little bit to become more consistent with the command of his fastball. But he’s a no-doubter, first-rounder at some time in the draft.”
Rounds 1-2 of the draft will take place tonight, with rounds 3-10 going on Tuesday and rounds 10-and-up going Wednesday. The Gators have a number of other draft-eligible players who will likely be taken within the first 10 rounds Tuesday, including shortstop Dalton Guthrie, catcher/first baseman JJ Schwarz and catcher Mike Rivera.
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O’Dowd said Guthrie is an elite defender at shortstop and compared his defensive ability to current Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias.
“His glove-to-hand transfer is the best in the game,” O’Dowd said. “He’s an acrobatic defender. He’s got great range to both his backhand side and up the middle. He takes great angles to balls and he plays the game with such a high level of energy.“I think his step back offensively had everything to do with his health, and the lack of consistent repetitions day in and day out.”Schwarz has had an up-and-down junior year, batting .269 with 10 home runs and 50 RBIs.“He’s a puzzling guy to me because there’s power and yet there’s streaks of swing and miss with him,” O’Dowd said. “I would have loved to have seen him stay behind the plate. I know with Rivera that wasn’t possible, but I think it would have taken a little bit of pressure off his bat […]