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Wednesday November 19, 2008UF Baseball Announces 2008 Early Signing Class

Gainesville, Fla.

Nine pitchers and seven position players highlight the 2008-09 recruiting class for the University of Florida baseball program. Head coach Kevin O'Sullivan announced Wednesday that 16 student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent and will play baseball for the Gators beginning in the 2010 season. Fifteen of the 16 individuals hail from the state of Florida.

 

"We are really excited about this signing class that our coaching staff has put together," said O'Sullivan. "We feel like this class will make an immediate impact and help us get back to Omaha. This class helps address our needs since we will be losing quite a few players after this year."

 

Florida added right-handers Ben Brown (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven), Danny Healey (Cooper City, Fla./Cooper City), Michael Heller (Bradenton, Fla./Cardinal Mooney) and Hudson Randall (Atlanta, Ga./Dunwoody H.S.). The five southpaws that signed with the Gators include David Holmberg (Port Charlotte, Fla./Port Charlotte), Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla./Cocoa Beach), Mike Rayl (Lake Worth, Fla./Park Vista/Palm Beach C.C.), Steven "Paco" Rodriguez (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) and Patrick Schuster (Holiday, Fla./J.W. Mitchell). The position players set to don the Orange and Blue are third baseman Bobby Borchering (Alva, Fla./Bishop Verot), infielder Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista), infielder Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange), catcher/right-handed pitcher Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla./Eagle's View Academy), outfielder Kamm Washington (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista), infielder/outfielder LeVon Washington (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz) and catcher Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla./Mariner).

 

Right-Handed Pitchers
BEN BROWN

5-11 175 R/R Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven H.S.

 

-Third-team Class 5A all-state selection as a pitcher in 2008

-First-team all-county after going 10-2 with a 1.35 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 83 innings

-Winter Haven advanced to the regional finals

-Had a 7-2 record as a sophomore with a 1.32 ERA and 78 K in 58 IP

-Sister, Caitlin, attends the University of Florida               

-High School Coach: David Saliba

 

DANNY HEALEY

6-2 195 R/R Cooper City, Fla./Cooper City H.S.

 

-Ranked No. 28 in the state of Florida according to Prospectswire.com, No. 8 RHP

-Pitched for the All-American Prospects in the summer of 2008, totaled 17 strikeouts and registered a 0.87 ERA in 16 innings

-Participated in the East Coast and the Diamond Club Professional Showcases

-High School Coach: Mike Manning

 

MICHAEL HELLER

6-2 190 R/R Bradenton, Fla./Cardinal Mooney H.S.

 

-Rated No. 9 in the state of Florida according to Prospectswire.com, No. 2 RHP

-Ranked No. 35 on PG CrossChecker.com list of Top High School Prospects

-Ranked No. 45 on Baseball America's list of Top 100 High School Prospects

-Participated in the AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Game at Dodger Stadium in August

-Named to the Top-10 Pitchers' list at the East Coast Professional Showcase

-Second-team Class 3A all-state selection as an infielder in 2008

-Named all-area last season and was his team's Most Valuable Player

-Recorded a 3.02 ERA, was 4-2 and notched 44 strikeouts in 37 innings

-Batted .505 with 32 runs batted in and five homers as Cardinal Mooney finished second at the district tourney

-Also led the Cougar starters with a .590 on-base percentage and .795 slugging percentage

-Both of his parents and his older brother attended the University of Florida

-High School Coach: Greg Mulhollen

 

HUDSON RANDALL

6-4 180 R/R Atlanta, Ga./Dunwoody H.S.

 

-Member of the 2008 Louisville Slugger High School All-American Team

-First-team all-country and was named Dunwoody's Most Outstanding Pitcher

-Finished 10-1 with a 1.00 ERA, five complete games and had 68 strikeouts in 56 innings

-Selected as the top right-handed pitcher for pitchability at the Perfect Game National Showcase

-Honorable mention all-county as a sophomore, when his team was the state AAA champion

-Dunwoody was 34-4 overall, claimed the region championship with a 14-0 record and was ranked 18th in the final rankings from Collegiate Baseball as the only team from Georgia in the top 30

-Started at shortstop (.333 avg. and .545 on-base pct.) and was the team's No. 3 starter (2-0, 25 K, 25.2 IP)

-High School Coach: Tom Bass

 

Left-Handed Pitchers

DAVID HOLMBERG

6-4 215 L/L Port Charlotte, Fla./Port Charlotte H.S.

 

-Ranked No. 31 in the state of Florida according to Prospectswire.com, No. 4 LHP

-Ranked No. 51 on Baseball America's list of Top 100 High School Prospects

-Third-team Class 5A all-state selection as a pitcher in 2008

-Named the Charlotte Sun Player of the Year

-Led the state last season with 114 strikeouts and was 6-1 with a 0.70 ERA

-Over the last four games of the season, struck out 58 in 29 innings with a personal-best of 16 against Southeast

-Worked eight innings of one-hit ball with 15 strikeouts in 1-0 versus 5A state champion Venice H.S. last spring

-High School Coach: Bob Bruglio

 

BRIAN JOHNSON

6-4 220 L/L Cocoa Beach, Fla./Cocoa Beach H.S.

 

-Ranked No. 19 in the state of Florida according to Prospectswire.com, No. 2 LHP

-Ranked No. 84 on Baseball America's list of Top 100 High School Prospects

-Ranked No. 93 on PG CrossChecker.com list of Top High School Prospects

-First-team Class 4A all-state selection in the utility spot in 2008

-Was the 2008 Florida Today Player of the Year

-Was 5-3 with 94 strikeouts in 61.2 innings, allowing just three earned runs for a 0.44 ERA

-Hit .540 with 23 RBI, 23 runs, 10 doubles and eight homers, registered a 1.000 slugging percentage and a .792 on-base percentage

-Was 6-4 with a 0.98 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 65 innings as a sophomore, when he batted .435 with nine doubles and four homers

-Sister, Brooke, is a member of the Gator softball team that reached the 2008 Women's College World Series

-High School Coach: Rich Coleman

 

MIKE RAYL

6-3 180 L/L Lake Worth, Fla./Park Vista H.S./Palm Beach C.C.

 

-Selected in the 41st round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft by the Washington Nationals, 1,231st overall

-Turned in a 5-1 mark at Palm Beach C.C. for head coach Alex Morales last spring

-Honorable Mention Class 6A all-state recipient in 2007 at Park Vista

-Second-team all-area in 2007 after going 9-0 with a 1.64 ERA and a save

-Recorded 76 strikeouts in 59.2 innings that year and led the team to its first district championship

-High School Coach: Larry Greenstein

 

STEVEN 'PACO' RODRIGUEZ

6-2 210 L/L Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep

 

-Ranked as the No. 7 LHP in the state of Florida according to Prospectswire.com

-Participated in the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field in August

-Member of the 2007 U-16 USA National Team that captured the World Youth Championship in Venezuela

-Made three appearances and struck out 12 batters in eight innings as the squad was 6-0 in the tournament

-High School Coaches: Jorge Perez/Javi Rodriguez

 

PATRICK SCHUSTER

6-2 170 L/L Holiday, Fla./J.W. Mitchell H.S.

 

-Ranked No. 23 in the state of Florida according to Prospectswire.com, No. 3 LHP

-Ranked No. 42 on Baseball America's list of Top 100 High School Prospects

-Ranked No. 79 on PG CrossChecker.com list of Top High School Prospects

-Honorable Mention Class 6A all-state recipient in 2008

-Was 5-2 with a 1.04 ERA with 88 strikeouts

-Mitchell's Pitcher of the Year in back-to-back seasons

-Participated in the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars in Cary, N.C., in June

-High School Coach: Scott Wilcox

 

Position Players

BOBBY BORCHERING

6-4 200 S/R Alva, Fla./Bishop Verot H.S.

 

-Ranked No. 8 in the state of Florida according to Prospectswire.com, No. 1 3B

-Ranked No. 12 on Baseball America's list of Top 100 High School Prospects

-Ranked No. 16 on PG CrossChecker.com list of Top High School Prospects

-Participated in the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field in August

-Honorable Mention Class 3A all-state selection as an infielder in 2008

-District Player of the Year in 2007 & 2008

-First-team all-area in 2007 & 2008

-Batted .463 with 30 RBI, 15 doubles and six homers last season, with a .866 slugging percentage and a .577 on-base percentage

-Offensive MVP of The '08 Sarasota Classic and made all-tournament at the Bud Roth and the Miami Baseball Bash events

-Went 3-for-3 with a single, double and a grand slam at the East Coast Professional Showcase in Lakeland, Fla., in August

-Hit .427 as a sophomore with 33 RBI and five homers

-High School Coach: Tom LoSauro

 

CODY DENT

5-11 170 L/R Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista H.S.

 

-Honorable Mention Palm Beach County All-Conference Team, Central Division, two-straight years

-Park Vista advanced to the Class 6A state championship game and finished 31-2

-Two-time Gold Glove winner in 2007 & 2008

-Committed just two errors last season

-Son of former Major Leaguer Bucky Dent

-Twin sister, Caitlin, signed a National Letter of Intent with N.C. State to play softball

-High School Coach: Larry Greenstein

 

NOLAN FONTANA

5-11 180 L/R Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange H.S.

 

-Ranked No. 13 in the state of Florida according to Prospectswire.com, No. 5 SS

-Member of the 2008 USA 18-U National Team that claimed the silver medal at the World Junior Championships in Edmonton, Alberta

-Named to the All-Tournament team at shortstop, set Team USA 18-U record with four walks against Mexico

-Team finished 7-1 as Fontana batted .357 (10-for-28) from the leadoff spot with team-highs in runs (12) and walks (nine)

-Lined a two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning to lift Team USA to a 4-3 win over defending world champion Korea to clinch the top seed in his club's pool.

-Member of the 2007 U-16 USA National Team that captured the World Youth Championship in Venezuela

-Hit .400 (2-for-5) with three walks and two runs

-Led West Orange to its first district championship in 2008 with a 28-5 record

-Batted .381 with eight homers and had an on-base percentage of .518

-Earned a Gold Glove Award

-Put together a 17-game hitting streak as a sophomore and had a .358 clip that year

-Captained the 16-U and 18-U Orlando Scorpions club team

-Grandfather, Lew Burdette, was the Most Valuable Player of the 1957 World Series for the Milwaukee Braves and won over 200 games in the Major Leagues

-High School Coach: Jesse Marlo

 

AUSTIN MADDOX

6-3 225 R/R Jacksonville, Fla./Eagle's View Academy

 

-Finalist for the Jackie Robinson Award as the 2008 National High School Player of the Year

-Ranked No. 4 in the state of Florida according to Prospectswire.com, No. 1 C

-Ranked No. 14 on PG CrossChecker.com list of Top High School Prospects

-Ranked No. 18 on Baseball America's list of Top 100 High School Prospects

-Participated in the AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Game at Dodger Stadium in August

-Was the winning pitcher in the East's 4-2 triumph after pitching 1.1 scoreless and hitless innings with two strikeouts; started the game behind the plate

-Participated in the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field in August

-Member of the 2008 USA 18-U National Team that claimed the silver medal at the World Junior Championships in Edmonton, Alberta

-Team finished 7-1 as Maddox batted .367 (11-for-30) with a team-high 19 total bases, eight runs, eight RBI and five doubles

-Member of the 2007 U-16 USA National Team that captured the World Youth Championship in Venezuela

-Hit .500 (5-for-10) with six RBI, two doubles, two runs and a homer

-First-team Class 1A all-state selection as a catcher in 2008

-Batted .515 with 67 RBI and 12 homers at Eagle's View Academy last spring

-Batted .491 with 41 RBI and five homers and was a first-team all-state pick as a sophomore

-EVA has captured back-to-back Class 1A state championships and three of the past four titles (2005, 2007, 2008)

-High School Coach: Terrance Freeman

 

KAMM WASHINGTON

5-10 190 L/L Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista H.S.

 

-Ranked No. 14 in the state of Florida according to Prospectswire.com, No. 3 OF

-Ranked No. 98 on PG CrossChecker.com list of Top High School Prospects

-First-team Class 6A all-state recipient in 2008

-First-team Palm Beach County All-Conference Team, Central Division in 2008

-Park Vista advanced to the Class 6A state championship game and finished 31-2

-Batted .538 with 33 RBI and 27 runs

-Has earned all-state and all-conference recognition three-straight years

-High School Coach: Larry Greenstein

 

LeVON WASHINGTON

5-11 170 L/R Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz H.S.

 

-Ranked No. 2 in the state of Florida according to Prospectswire.com, No. 1 OF

-Ranked No. 20 on Baseball America's list of Top 100 High School Prospects

-Ranked No. 25 on PG CrossChecker.com list of Top High School Prospects

-Participated in the AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Game at Dodger Stadium in August

-Named the Best Running Prospect at the AFLAC High School All-American Game

-Second-team Class 5A all-state selection as an infielder in 2008

-First-team Gainesville Sun Class 4A-6A all-area team

-Member of the 2008 Class 5A District Champions

-Participated in the 2008 18-U U.S. National Team Trials

-His team went undefeated in trials at the USA Baseball Tournament of the Stars in Cary, N.C., in June

-Ran a 6.21 in the 60-yard dash at the 2008 Perfect Game National Showcase in Minneapolis, Minn., the fastest time of 120 players invited to the event

-Batted .363 with 41 runs, 35 stolen bases, 21 RBI and four homers as a junior

-Turned in a .375 clip with 20 stolen bases, 16 RBI and five homers as a sophomore

-High School Coach: David Banes

 

MIKE ZUNINO

6-1 195 R/R Cape Coral, Fla./Mariner H.S.

 

-Ranked No. 12 in the state of Florida according to Prospectswire.com, No. 2 C

-Ranked No. 50 on Baseball America's list of Top 100 High School Prospects

-Ranked No. 60 on PG CrossChecker.com list of Top High School Prospects

-Participated in the AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Game at Dodger Stadium in August

-First-team Class 5A all-state selection as a designated hitter in 2008

-First-team Ft. Myers News-Press All-Area team, led the Tritons to district championship

-Batted .457 with 32 RBI, an .897 slugging percentage and a school-record 10 HR

-High School Coach: Steve Larsen

 

2008 Florida Baseball Signees

Signee

Pos.

Ht.

Wt.

B/T

Hometown/High School (Previous School)

Bobby Borchering

3B

6-4

200

S/R

Alva, Fla./Bishop Verot H.S.

Ben Brown

RHP

5-11

175

R/R

Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven H.S.

Cody Dent

INF

5-11

170

L/R

Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista H.S.

Nolan Fontana

INF

5-11

180

L/R

Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange H.S.

Danny Healey

RHP

6-2

195

R/R

Cooper City, Fla./Cooper City H.S.

Michael Heller

RHP/INF

6-2

190

R/R

Bradenton, Fla./Cardinal Mooney H.S.

David Holmberg

LHP

6-4

215

R/L

Port Charlotte, Fla./Port Charlotte H.S.

Brian Johnson

LHP/1B

6-4

220

L/L

Cocoa Beach, Fla./Cocoa Beach H.S.

Austin Maddox

C/RHP

6-3

225

R/R

Jacksonville, Fla./Eagle's View Academy

Hudson Randall

RHP

6-4

180

R/R

Atlanta, Ga./Dunwoody H.S.

Mike Rayl

LHP

6-3

180

L/L

Lake Worth, Fla./Park Vista H.S. (Palm Beach C.C.)

Steven 'Paco' Rodriguez

LHP

6-2

210

L/L

Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep

Patrick Schuster

LHP

6-2

170

L/L

Holiday, Fla./J.W. Mitchell H.S.

Kamm Washington

OF

5-10

190

L/L

Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista H.S.

LeVon Washington

INF/OF

5-11

170

L/R

Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz H.S.

Mike Zunino

C

6-1

195

R/R

Cape Coral, Fla./Mariner H.S.

 

-UF-

 

 

 

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