Florida right-hander Jonathon Crawford earned the highest summer league placement when he was added to the Collegiate National Team USA. Crawford is on the team along with some of the top college baseball players in the country. Former Gators Brian Johnson and Nolan Fontana both played on the team as well.
Crawford has seen time as a relief pitcher in the first few weeks with the team. On Thursday, he opened Team USA’s five-game series at Cuba by tossing 6.1 innings, allowing four hits, two walks and two runs while striking out six hitters in Team USA’s 4-3 win over Cuba.
The Gators have five players in the Cape Cod League this summer.
It’s an important time for right-hander Karsten Whitson. After struggling with injuries throughout his sophomore season, Whitson returned to the mound and didn’t look sharp during the season. Pitching in summer ball could be the boost he needs heading into fall practice.
In two relief appearances for the Orleans Firebirds, Whitson has thrown 3.1 innings, giving up three hits, one run and striking out five hitters while posting a 2.70 ERA.
Two Florida players are off to hot starts for the Falmouth Commodores. Second baseman Casey Turgeon is hitting .462 (6-13) with two home runs, five RBI, four runs scored. On the mound, John Magliozzi has tossed 5.2 scoreless innings of relief, allowing three hits, one extra base hit (a double) and striking out eight hitters.
Justin Shafer is putting together a solid summer early on with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. He is hitting .267 (4-15) and after not hitting a home run in his freshman year, Shafer did so in his first 15 at-bats in the Cape Cod League. He has also added a double, four RBI, five runs scored, two walks and one stolen base.
Josh Tobias is hitting .125 (1-8) in limited action while scoring one run, being hit by a pitch and striking out three times.
In the Northwoods League, three Florida players are teaming up on the Madison Mallards. Taylor Gushue is catching and hitting .241 (7-29) with two home runs, six RBI and seven runs scored. He has added one double, three walks, two hit by pitches, one stolen base and seven strikeouts.
On the mound for the Mallards, Bobby Poyner has allowed three earned runs in eight innings pitched (3.38 ERA). He has walked two hitters and struck out seven while giving up five hits.
It hasn’t been as smooth for Daniel Gibson in Madison. In 6.1 innings pitched, the left-hander has allowed 12 hits, five earned runs and three walks while recording three strikeouts. He has posted a 7.11 ERA in his early outings for the Mallards.
Also in the Northwoods League, Ryan Harris has posted a 1.90 ERA in 8.2 innings pitched for the Lakeshore Chinooks. Harris has allowed just four hits, two earned runs and two walks while striking out ten hitters.
In the Coastal Plains League, Connor Mitchell is hitting .357 (5-14) with five singles, three runs scored, three RBI and two walks for the Wilmington Sharks.
Just like in Madison, there are three Gators playing for the Northshore Navigators of the New England League.
Corey Stump has been the star of the trio so far. He is 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA in 10.1 innings pitched. Stump has allowed four hits, one earned run and two walks while striking out eight hitters. The Florida coaches were optimistic he would make a jump this summer, and Stump is proving to do that in the early stages.
The results haven’t been so positive for Keenan Kish and Cory Reid.
In 7.2 innings pitched, Kish has allowed seven hits, nine runs (eight earned) and four walks while striking out six hitters. Kish has a 9.39 ERA early in his summer season.
Reid is hitting .133 (2-15) with one walk, one hit by a pitch, two runs scored and four strikeouts.