The Oakland Athletics drafted Florida Gators pitcher Logan Shore with the 47th overall pick in the second round on Thursday night.
Logan Shore has been the most reliable pitcher on the staff in all three of his seasons for the Gators. The SEC Pitcher of the Year has not yet suffered a loss in the 2016 season, he is 11-0 so far on the mound for Florida this season.
He has been the Friday night starter in almost every series for the Gators since he arrived in Gainesville three years ago. Shore already has major league talent, so with steady improvement, it should not take long for him to move up the ladder.
Shore does not have overpowering speed, with a fastball averaging 89-92 MPH. The key to his success is a nearly unhittable changeup that contrasts perfectly with his fastball. His slider is not MLB ready, but has improved in his time at Florida and is continuing to improve. His smooth motion and consistent arm speed make it extremely difficult for batters to pick up his off speed pitches.
His changeup is very unusual in the sense that it is effective against right handed batters. Changeups from right handed pitchers are generally only effective against left handed batters. Shore will throw his changeup, and throw it well, against any batter in any situation and any count.
He commands the strike zone with all three of his pitches. He has improved his already impressive walk rate to 1.46 walks per nine innings in his junior year.
Shore is not a big strike out pitcher, his game is pitching to contact and relying on his defense to make plays behind him. His pitches have a natural sink that produces a lot of ground balls and miss-hits by opposing batters. Although strikeouts are not his strong suit, he has improved his strikeout rate to 7.80 per nine innings. He made strides this season compared to his freshman and sophomore seasons, with averages of 6.40 and 6.73.
CAREER AT FLORIDA:
Shore was drafted out of high school in the 29th round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins, his home state team. He turned down the opportunity to go pro to play baseball for Florida. It was a great decision, because as a second round pick, he will be cashing some large paychecks soon.
In his time with the Gators, he became one of the most decorated pitchers in Florida history. His most notable awards include SEC Freshman of the Year (2014), Freshman All-American (2014), Perfect Game National Freshman of the Year (2014), SEC Pitcher of the Year (2016), and First-Team All-American (2016). Shore is currently a semi-finalist for the Golden-Spikes Award.
As a freshman, he posted a 2.16 ERA with a 7-4 record on the mound. A year later, he led the Gators in wins (11) and innings pitched (112.1). He helped carry the Gators to their seventh SEC Tournament Championship and a CWS appearance. Shore had a perfect 5-0 record in post-season.
As a junior, he currently has the 3rd best ERA in the SEC at 2.44. He broke the school record for consecutive wins, throwing his 13th consecutive win in a two hit shutout against Georgia on April 22. His win streak is currently at 16, with an 11-0 record this season. He leads the top ranked Gators in games started for the second consecutive year and is just behind Alex Faedo in innings pitched with 92.1. Shore has proved to be very durable. He threw two complete games as a sophomore and has thrown three so far this season.
CHANCES SHORE RETURNS:
As the 47th overall draft pick, there is virtually no chance Shore will be back in a Florida uniform next season. Returning would only leave the possibility for an injury open and maybe give him a chance to move up a few more picks.
In all honesty, there is more of a chance that I will suit up and play offensive line for the New England Patriots next season than there is for Logan Shore to return.
Shore is one of those pitchers who is capable of moving through the minors and into the big leagues quickly, so it would be in his best interest to come out now.