Six more Gators drafted; total up to 8

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – More proof of why the Florida baseball team is the favorite to win the College World series: The Gators had six more players drafted on Tuesday.

Shortstop Nolan Fontana and pitcher Steven Rodriguez were taken in the second round. Pitcher Austin Maddox was taken in the third round, and outfielder Preston Tucker and pitcher Hudson Randall were taken in the seventh round. Outfielder Daniel Pigott was taken in the ninth round.

Including the selections of catcher Mike Zunino (No. 3 overall) and pitcher Brian Johnson (No. 31 overall), the Gators have seen eight players drafted during the first 15 rounds. Rounds 16-40 will take place Wednesday.

Fontana, who is just the second player in school history to make the Southeastern Conference’s All-Defensive team in three consecutive seasons, was taken with the first pick of the second round (No. 61 overall) by Houston. Fontana is hitting .294 and leads UF in runs (56), walks (46) and stolen bases (13). He has hit a career-high nine home runs and has driven in 30.

The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Rodriguez with the No. 82 overall selection. He is 3-2 with a 2.08 ERA and four saves this season. He has struck out 79 batters in 60.2 innings and was a first-team All-SEC selection.

Boston took Maddox with the No. 118 overall pick. He leads the SEC with 12 saves and is 3-3 with a 2.24 ERA and has struck out 55 batters in 52.1 innings. He is one save shy of tying the single-season school record.

Tucker -- who holds school records for games played (261), hits (335), RBIs (254) and doubles (69) and is second in homers (56) -- was taken by Houston with the No. 219 overall pick. Tucker is hitting .316 with 16 doubles, 15 home runs, and 46 RBIs.

Detroit selected Randall, UF’s Friday-night starter, with the No. 244 overall pick. The right-hander is 8-2 with a 2.83 ERA and has victories against five ranked teams (Miami, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi State and Georgia).

Cincinnati used the No. 292 overall pick on Pigott, who leads UF with a .321 average and has 11 stolen bases, 38 RBIs, 13 doubles and seven home runs.

The Gators also had three signees drafted Tuesday. Colorado took outfielder Max White (Williston, Fla./Williston) with the No. 73 overall pick (second round), Pittsburgh took right-handed pitcher Jonathan Sandfort (Winter Springs, Fla./Winter Springs) with the No. 103 overall pick (third round), and Miami took shortstop Avery Romero (St. Augustine, Fla./Pedro Menendez) with the No. 104 overall pick (third round).

White told the Gainesville (Fla.) Sun that he would sign with the Rockies and not attend UF.