Kevin O’Sullivan really loves the 2023 Gators baseball team.
Do you know who else loves their bands?
“Every coach in America,” said O’Sullivan. “We are all undefeated now.”
On paper, the Gators look loaded this year. Of course, “On Paper” has a career track record of unrealized potential and shattered dreams.
However, pre-season polls had O’Sullivan’s 16th Florida running back anywhere from second in the country to seventh. He quipped that pre-season polls are never wrong.
Soule is coming off a loss in the regional finals to Oklahoma and can see a team that was going into 2023 with momentum.
“In 2021, the season ended on a sour note,” he said, referring to Barbeque as regional host. “But I was proud of the way he changed your young team last year.”
Now, there is the matter of Omaha. Florida hasn’t been since 2018 (“It feels like a decade,” O’Sullivan said).
How do they return? In Dooley’s Dozen, we bring you 12 things that must happen for Florida to make its eighth College World Series appearance under O’Sullivan.
Anyone who’s been watching the 2017 team win it all knows that one of the biggest keys is that Michael Byrne’s closer was as close to automatic as possible. There are plenty of options for finding as close to Soule as you can count, including third starter candidates.
“We’ll work it out on the surface during practices and see if we can find a guy we can count on,” O’Sullivan said.
Hurston Waldrip Should be good. I know many of you can’t wait to see him play. And the Florida coaches can’t help but do so well so far. get Brandon Sprott To go back for another year is huge. Those are appetizers 1A and 1B.
The SEC is all about trying to win series after series. This is how you win the conference title and get access to regional hosting and superstars. The first bite puts you in position.
Josh Rivera He was the star of fall practices, not just with his glove but with his bat. There were times when he was spontaneously out at the plate last year and had some sluggish mistakes. But word has it that he’s ready to be a rockstar in 2023.
“He was probably our best offensive player (in the spring),” O’Sullivan said. “I talk to our assistant coaches all the time and we agreed that next year at this time when we don’t have him on short notice, people will realize how important he is to the team.”
Almost all really good teams have to be defensive. It is an unwritten rule. Catcher, shortstop and second, center field. PT Riupel He is one of the team captains behind the board and Rivera in short is a fourth year senior.
Center field and second base could become strengths, but it will be interesting to see how freshmen fit into those positions.
No pressure, Wyatt. You could have the kind of season that will get you into the top five in the Major League Draft. You know, like last year when I tied the UF all-time record for home runs in a single season.
This guy has a laser focus on the prize. He could put together one of those all-time great seasons at UF. Like I said, no pressure.
Well, that central thing is going to be an interesting thing because it looks Judd Fabian He was there for 10 years. He was a real presence in this team, O’Sullivan believes Michael Robertson He could be Florida’s next great quarterback.
“I’m really into Michael Robertson,” he said. “If the season starts today, it does. I hope he’s our leading hitter. I love his little ball game.”
A small ball? What is this little ball you speak of?
There isn’t a situation on the team that Florida doesn’t have depth in. You just don’t know with some newcomers how they will act once you get into multiplayer.
Don’t forget – the lineup you see on Opening Day may look a lot different than the lineup you see in May.
Also, staying healthy is always #1 on the list. There are at least a few spots that Florida’s depth would help cover up.
There are a lot of potential leaders. Langford, Riopel, Rivera W Colby Holder. College baseball season can be challenging, especially for freshmen.
There is a fine line leaders have to cross between meeting their teammates and cheering them on. Sully loves his club, but even he is curious to know what it will look like when adversity comes.
You all know this. Nobody goes unbeaten. You get three hits for every 10 hits, and you have a chance to be all-conference. The best of the best have bad days.
This is baseball, where players need to be able to get things off whether it’s a slump or a hot streak. The only important pitch is next.
O’Sullivan admitted that the transfer portal “sneaked up on me”. He still doesn’t want to build through the gate and would rather focus on high school employment, but he’s more open to taking four or five a year.
The trail is a gem after promoting Southern Queen at the Super Regional a year ago. But there are several, including Tyler Shelnut of the College of Santa Fe. He is a two-way player.
He didn’t play last year after an arm injury in high school, but he suddenly burst onto the stage as a power hitter. Now, he’s ready to do both.
If this past year is any indication, he’s got the makeup and tools to be an even bigger version of Brad Wilkerson. Well, there was only one Brad Wilkerson. But this could be a special year for the Cags.