#14 Florida Baseball 2020 Preview

Florida Gators
Overall Rank: #14
Conference Rank: #7 SEC
 Florida Logo
Florida is coming off a down year. The Gators did sneak into the NCAA Tournament, but obviously the expectations for Florida are much, much higher than that. After four straight trips to Omaha, including a national title in 2017, finishing with a losing record in SEC play and not getting out of the regionals are clearly concerns. But Coach Kevin O’Sullivan now has a very experienced and talented team that should make a serious push back towards the College World Series.
2019: 34-26, 13-17
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kevin O’Sullivan
Key Departed Players:
Nelson Maldonado, OF, .343 BA, 10 HR, 43 RBI
Brady McConnell, IF, .332 BA, 15 HR, 48 RBI
Wil Dalton, OF, .262 BA, 8 HR, 34 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Austin Langworthy, OF, .283 BA, 10 HR, 43 RBI
Jacob Young, OF, .311 BA, 3 HR 26 RBI
Kendrick Calilao, .276 BA, 5 HR, 49 RBI
Brady Smith, C/IF, .270 BA, 5 HR, 20 RBI
Cory Acton, IF, .251 BA, 6 HR, 30 RBI
Tommy Mace, P, 5.32 ERA, 8-5 W/L, 89.2 IP, 74 SO
Jack Leftwich, P, 5.31 ERA, 6-5 W/L, 62.2 IP, 62 SO
Christian Scott, P, 5.19 ERA, 6-3 W/L, 52.0 IP, 44 SO
The Gators were steady offensively in 2019. Nelson Maldonado and Brady McConnell are big losses, but this lineup is deep from top to bottom. Senior Austin Langworthy hit .283 with ten homeruns and 43 RBIs. Kendrick Calilao, Brady Smith, Cory Acton and Jud Fabian all hit at least five homeruns last season and will look to take a step forward in 2020. Calilao led the team with 49 RBIs as a freshman and he is one to watch. Jacob Young hit .311 during his freshman campaign and is another talented sophomore who is brimming with potential. Add in some very talented freshmen, most notably Nathan Hickey and Josh Rivera, and Florida could have one of the better offenses in the SEC. The pitching staff is where this group needs to improve. Just about everybody is back though and that experience should make a difference. Tommy Mace and Jack Leftwich will carry much of the burden. They both had up and down sophomore seasons. Finding a consistent third starter would be helpful too. The expectations are high for freshman Hunter Barco to fill that role, but Christian Scott, Nick Pogue and Nolan Crisp all have starting experience. If the Gators can use that experience to make strides on the mound, Florida will be in the mix to get back to Omaha. Even if the struggles continue, this will still be much better than 2019.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament