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2017 MLB Draft: Florida’s Dalton Guthrie selected by Philadelphia Phillies in sixth round

Florida’s slick-fielding shortstop gets a fairly early call.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Florida vs Virginia Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

After pitcher Alex Faedo’s selection in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft on Monday night, the Florida Gators now have two current players off the board, thanks to the Philadelphia Phillies selecting Dalton Guthrie in the sixth round on Tuesday.

Guthrie has been Florida’s starting shortstop since 2016, when he shifted over from second base after the departure of Nolan Fontana, and is primarily known as a defensive wizard. He has just 24 errors in 188 games as a Gator, and has never had more than eight errors in a season — despite playing nearly 70 games in both his freshman and sophomore seasons, and routinely attempting spectacular plays more suited to the majors.

And Guthrie’s defense has helped compensate for a bat that has rarely been more or less than just adequate. The junior is hitting .271 in 2017, down from his .305 average as a sophomore and his .287 clip as a freshman, and while his power numbers have remained remarkably steady, his on-base percentage has dipped with his batting average this season.

That regression at the plate has led Florida to use Guthrie at various spots in its lineup one year after he served as an effective leadoff man, and probably prevented Guthrie from going higher in this MLB Draft. But as a sixth-round pick without a ton of room to improve as a collegiate player, Guthrie would seem more likely than not to forgo his senior season and turn pro with the Phillies.