Florida baseball fell one game short of winning it all in 2023. The Gators were blown out in game three of the College World Series finals against LSU, leaving a bitter and disappointing end to an otherwise phenomenal campaign.
And while the Gators had to say goodbye to a couple of key players from that squad, the preseason polls coming out still expect a monster season for the Gators in 2024.
Florida Baseball: Guess Who's Back? Back Again?
Florida had to say goodbye to Wyatt Langford, Josh Rivera, and Hurston Waldrep, among others, from their 2023 squad. For a number of teams, having all those players depart for the MLB would be a tough hole to fill.
And while we will have to see things play out for real on the field, on paper, there is still belief that Gators will have a great squad in 2024. D1Baseball released their preseason national poll and ranked the Gators second in the country, only behind Wake Forest.
The obvious headliner for Florida in 2024 is Jac Caglianone. Last season as a sophomore Caglianone batted .323 with a school record of 33 home runs. Part of the Caglianone magic is that he also started 18 games on the mound and sported an ERA of 4.34.
Other key contributors like Cade Kurland and Luke Heyman are back as well, and the Gators went out and beefed up in the transfer portal. Colby Shelton was a freshman All-American for Alabama who hit 25 home runs last season. Brody Donay hit .260 for Virginia Tech and Tanner Garrison will be fifth-year senior from Coastal Carolina to help rotate at catcher.
The Gators are officially one month out from their first series as they will open the season against St. John's on February 16th at home.