Tracking Florida baseball’s 2022 transfer portal movement

·4 min read

It could be a busy offseason for the Florida Gators in the transfer portal, including additions and subtractions from the 2022 team. A few players have made their intentions to depart known early and the Gators are expected to at least compete for some of the top talent in the portal (yes, Tommy White is still an option but FSU is the favorite).

Kevin O'Sullivan tested the waters a year ago by bringing in catcher BT Riopelle and that worked out beautifully. Riopelle was an All-SEC First Team selection and is now expected to return, according to Gators Online’s Nick de la Torre. It’s worth pursuing some more talent after a success like that, and Florida will have holes after losing Jud Fabian and Sterlin Thompson among others to the draft and graduation.

Florida did have 16 new faces join the team last year with all but one being freshmen, so some were bound to transfer out. Gators Wire will keep track of those roster movements as they come in and keep an eye on where they land.

It will be interesting to see just how much Florida utilizes the portal this offseason. The new rules changed the game immediately for football and basketball, but it seems that baseball is just now catching up.

Outgoing: Catcher Mac Guscette

Jake Crandall/USA TODAY NETWORK

With Riopelle intending to stay another year, [autotag]Mac Guscette[/autotag] was left in a tough spot. Either spend another year waiting and being a team player or look out for himself. Guscette proved himself as a valuable asset down the stretch and never complained about his role on the team, but now is the time for him to make a name for himself with another year until he’s draft-eligible.

Tennessee is the name many have connected with him as the Volunteers need a catcher, but at this point, that’s just speculation. Guscette leaves Florida a career .259 hitter after 162 at-bats in 57 games and 46 starts. All five of his home runs came in 2022 and he made just three errors behind the dish. Florida’s losing a good one, but the timing just didn’t work out.

Behind Riopelle is [autotag]Rene Lastres[/autotag], who underwent Tommy John surgery in May, and then there’s no one. [autotag]Luke Heyman[/autotag] and [autotag]Salvador Alvarez[/autotag] are the two incoming catchers, but there’s a solid chance Heyman heads to the pros straight out of high school. [autotag]Wyatt Langford[/autotag] could play some catcher in emergency situations, but going to the portal for a depth player might be an option worth pursuing in this scenario.

Outgoing: Starting Pitcher Nick Pogue

Gary Cosby Jr./The Tuscaloosa News

After returning from Tommy John surgery, [autotag]Nick Pogue[/autotag] settled into the Sunday spot in the starting rotation nicely. He finished out the season there, but that was mostly due to [autotag]Hunter Barco[/autotag] going down. The other problem is Pogue is turning 23 in September. If he’s not drafted where he wants this year, he needs to impress in 2023.

Transferring to a smaller school and being an ace is one path, but it all depends on where Pogue is taken in July.

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Pogue pitched 84 1/3 innings for the Gators across three years of action. In 2019, he worked mostly out of the bullpen and managed a 4.15 ERA in 16 appearances (four starts). He started two games in the COVID-shortened 2020 season and missed 2021 with injury. His final campaign with Florida was decent, starting 10 games of the 11 he appeared in and working down a 9.53 ERA to 4.81 by season’s end. He also struck out 37 in 39 1/3 innings and walked just 12.

Outgoing: Relief Pitcher Karl Hartman

Craig Bailey/FLORIDA TODAY

After just one season with the Gators, [autotag]Karl Hartman[/autotag] is the first of the recruiting class of 2021 to depart the team. He pitched in 12 games as a true freshman and made one start against Stetson on April 19. His last outing for Florida came just two weeks later against USF. He’d finish the season with a 9.00 ERA through 15.0 innings of work.

Command was an issue for Hartman as he walked 10 and hit five batters in his limited outing. His WHIP was just a shade under 2.00 for the season at 1.93.

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