Florida sophomore ranked No. 5 second baseman by D1Baseball

One of the best surprises from Florida’s 2023 freshman class was middle infielder Cade Kurland and D1Baseball has him ranked No. 5 among college second baseman heading into the 2024 season.

The former Berkeley Prep (Tampa) standout slashed .297/.404/.555 and set the program record for home runs in a season (17) by a middle infielder.

Typically, players get stronger in their second year, but Kurland is already one of the nation’s top power-hitting second basemen. Any more juice would put him in the 20-homer range. Only 65 players crossed that threshold a year ago; just three of them were second basemen.

Perhaps the best part about Kurland is that he’ll be in Florida for at least two more seasons. He’s not draft-eligible as a sophomore, so he’ll help lead the infield through the 2025 campaign.

One major thing scouts will be looking at is whether Kurland can refine his eye at the plate over the next two years. His strikeout rate of 20.5% isn’t high, but he could stand to draw a few more walks and raise that on-base percentage. Getting hit 22 times saved him a bit, but no one enjoys getting plunked.

Although Kurland played shortstop in high school, there doesn’t appear to be interest in moving him from second yet. Florida brought in Alabama third baseman Colby Shelton to try and play shortstop and also added Armando Albert from FAU, who has an impressive glove.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire