Florida's 2016 pitching staff was already set up to be potentially legendary: The incredibly talented A.J. Puk is in line to be one of the first picks in the 2016 MLB Draft, but might not even be Florida's Friday starter if the more consistent Logan Shore retains his spot, and Dane Dunning and Alex Faedo would seem set to scrap for the No. 3 starter role. And then there's Brett Morales, a freshman who threw six perfect innings in a midweek start in February.
And now it's adding another second-round pick: Florida signee Brady Singer, taken with the No. 56 pick in June's MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, will play for the Gators instead of going pro.
Update: Singer himself tweeted confirmation of the decision to come to Florida.
I have decided to attend the University of Florida and excited to be a part of @GatorZoneBB !— Brady Singer⚾️ (@Bsinger51) July 17, 2015
Singer's decision comes as a surprise, given where he was picked. It's also final: The 5 p.m. Eastern Friday deadline for MLB teams to reach contracts with their 2015 draft picks has passed.
Scout's Cody Jones has more on Singer:
Some background on Brady Singer: Was told he pitched at 91-94 as a senior. Told he has been on campus and going through Summer B classes.— Cody Jones (@CJonesScout) July 17, 2015
Just talked to #Gators Kevin O'Sullivan about Brady Singer: "Tremendous sinker, really good slider, very projectable. Really good stuff."— Cody Jones (@CJonesScout) July 17, 2015
More O'Sullivan on Singer: "He went in the second round, and hes very obviously a second-round talent. We're excited hes coming to Florida."— Cody Jones (@CJonesScout) July 17, 2015
The slot value of the No. 56 pick is just more than $1 million, so Singer is almost certainly turning down seven figures to come to Florida and play baseball on a scholarship. He's also the first Florida signee taken in the first two rounds of the MLB Draft to choose college baseball over the pros since Karsten Whitson did so.
Now, we can all hope that Singer has far better luck than the star-crossed Whitson had. If he ends up contributing to Florida's first national championship in 2016, well, that wouldn't be a bad start.