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Thursday June 6, 2013UF's Jonathon Crawford Selected In First Round Of The MLB Draft By The Detroit Tigers

Gainesville, Fla.

University of Florida junior right-hander Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.) was chosen in the first round of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft on Thursday night by the Detroit Tigers with the 20th choice. His selection marks the second-straight year that a member of head coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s Gator squad has been taken in the opening round after catcher Mike Zunino went third overall to the Seattle Mariners and left-hander Brian Johnson was picked 31st by the Boston Red Sox last June. Crawford became the highest selection for a Florida pitcher since John Burke was chosen by the Houston Astros at No. 6 overall in 1991. 

 

Over a team-high 15 starts and 86.2 innings this year, Crawford led the Orange and Blue with 69 strikeouts and was 3-6 with a 3.84 ERA. During the Gators’ opening-round contest of the NCAA Bloomington Regional, he limited second-seeded Austin Peay to one run and four hits over 6.1 innings and registered five strikeouts. He was in line for the victory before the Govs overcame a 3-1 deficit for a 4-3 triumph and was later chosen to the Regional’s All-Tournament Team.

 

Crawford was chosen as the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week on April 1 for the first time in his career after twirling a two-hit shutout against No. 11 Ole Miss. After the Rebels claimed the opener, 4-3 in 11 innings, he evened the series on Saturday with his best outing of the season. The righty allowed only singles in the fourth and sixth innings, set a season high with eight strikeouts and issued a pair of walks. Ole Miss hitters went 2-for-29 (.069) against Crawford, who went the distance for his second career complete-game and second solo shutout – first since a 4-0 no-hitter against Bethune-Cookman on June 1, 2012 during the NCAA Gainesville Regional.

 

Crawford also earned USA Baseball’s International Performance of the Year Award for his efforts last summer. As Team USA's starter in game one of the inaugural USA versus Cuba Series in Havana, Cuba, his outing set the tone for the 2012 Collegiate National Team season. The Okeechobee native went 6.1 innings, struck out six Cuban batters and picked up the win in the club's 4-3 victory at Estadio de Latinoamericana. On the summer, Crawford led the team with 26.2 innings pitched. Along the way, he picked up two more wins for Team USA to finish the summer with a 3-0 record and a 2.02 earned run average.

 

After pitching just 3.2 innings as a freshman, Crawford made 19 appearances and 14 starts as a sophomore in 2012 as Florida made its third NCAA College World Series appearance in a row. The righty had a 6-2 mark with a 3.13 ERA and tied for second on the squad with 73 strikeouts in 77.2 innings. He started in nine of the Gators’ 10 SEC series and was 3-1 with a 2.56 ERA in 38.2 innings during league action.

 

Crawford appeared in three NCAA Tournament contests, including starts against No. 11 NC State in the Gainesville Super Regional and Bethune-Cookman in the Gainesville Regional, and came out of the bullpen for three innings versus No. 9 Kent State at the CWS. He registered a 2.30 ERA and was 1-0 with 13 strikeouts and two walks in a team-high 15.2 innings in NCAA play.

 

In Florida’s NCAA opener against B-CU, Crawford became the first Gator hurler to register a complete-game no-hitter since Burke accomplished the feat in a 2-0 shutout of Furman on May 23, 1991. Crawford, whose previous career-high stint had been six innings against LSU on April 6, went the distance on 98 pitches (70 of them strikes) and faced the minimum of 27 batters en route to the 4-0 shutout of the Wildcats. The righty retired the final 19 batters of the outing and became just the seventh pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the NCAA Championship, the first since Burke. Crawford defeated Auburn in UF’s SEC Tournament opener in Hoover, establishing a career high with nine strikeouts over 5.2 innings, and claimed the series opener at Tennessee on April 13. He fired six scoreless frames to help the Gators even the series with seventh-ranked LSU and also collected victories over Vanderbilt (5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 6 K) and No. 19 UCF (5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 K). He held the Knights hitless for 4.1 innings in his collegiate starting debut.

 

All-Time Gator Baseball First-Round Draft Picks

Player

Year

Team (Choice)

Jim Watkins

1978

Atlanta Braves (1st in the June - Secondary Phase)

Rob Murphy

1981

Cincinnati Reds (3rd in the January – Secondary Phase)

Randy O'Neal

1981

Detroit Tigers (15th in the June - Secondary Phase)

Robby Thompson

1983

San Francisco Giants (2nd in the June - Secondary Phase)

Rich Rice

1983

Baltimore Orioles (3rd in the June - Secondary Phase)

Scott Ruskin

1986

Montreal Expos (8th in the January - Secondary Phase)

Jamie McAndrew

1989

Los Angeles Dodgers (28th compensation)

John Burke

1991

Houston Astros (6th)

John Burke

1992

Colorado Rockies (27th)

Marc Valdes

1993

Florida Marlins (27th)

Brad Wilkerson

1998

Montreal Expos (33rd compensation)

Matt LaPorta

2007

Milwaukee Brewers (7th)

Mike Zunino

2012

Seattle Mariners (3rd)

Brian Johnson

2012

Boston Red Sox (31st)

Jonathon Crawford

2013

Detroit Tigers (20th)

 

The original First-Year Player Draft Rule called for drafting sessions to be held twice a year, January and June, with a regular phase and a secondary phase held in each draft. In 1987, baseball dissolved all but the regular phase of the June session. The secondary phase was held after the regular phase and was only for players who had been previously drafted but were not signed by the club that drafted them.

 

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