As Florida baseball arrives in Omaha, Nebraska, in preparation for the Men’s College World Series, one of the unfortunate realities is how the transfer portal window in baseball works. Even though Florida is hoping to win a national title, Kevin O’Sullivan is having to also work the portal to keep the team stocked for 2024.
The Gators have already had a handful of guys announce they are transferring out, but Florida got good news yesterday with a key pitcher that should be an immediate starter next season.
Florida Baseball: Keep the rotation stocked
Kelly Austin was a starting pitcher for UCLA this past season. In 13 starts, he sported a 3.39 ERA with 104 strikeouts against just 34 walks.
He has a fastball that is usually around 91 MPH, but keeps hitters off balance with a slider that is usually at 80 MPH and an even slower curveball.
Coming out of high school, Kelly was not a highly regarded prospect.
Originally a JUCO player through 2021, Austin made his way to UCLA and spent two years with the Bruins before announcing he would come to UF as a graduate transfer.
Austin’s arrival for Florida Baseball will be welcomed as it is expected that Gators will lose both Hurston Waldrep and Brandon Sproat to the MLB Draft.
In addition, Florida has had several other players on their roster announce new homes for next season, including freshman pitcher Yoel Tejeda Jr. announced he will be transferring to FSU for the 2024 season.
Assuming both Waldrep and Sproat are gone, Kevin O’Sullivan will still have one weekend starter spot to fill, with Jac Caglianone taking the other spot. It’s possible he goes back to the portal or promotes one of the bullpen guys like Brandon Neely, Cade Fisher, Ryan Slater, or Phillip Abner.
It’s unfortunate O’Sullivan and the Gators have to think about this while in Omaha, but such is life in college baseball.