Florida baseball position group breakdown: First base

Gator Country continues our position group breakdown, providing analysis and insight for each player at every position.



The original plan was to redshirt Caglianone due to a UCL injury that would keep him from pitching in the 2022 season. However, coach Sullivan and the Gators’ staff quickly realized that they needed Caglianone’s bat in the lineup. 

Caglianone slashed .288/.339/.548 with seven home runs, six doubles, 27 RBI and 9 runs scored across 104 at bats during his freshman campaign. 

The Tampa native played in 28 games including 27-straight starts at designated hitter to end the season. 

Caglianone’s strong finish earned him selections to the 2022 NCAA Gainesville Regional All-Tournament Team and 2022 SEC All-Tournament Team. 

The two-way player is going to be on the mound often for the Gators, so his usage at 1st base will be something to monitor as the season progresses. Coach Sullivan will need to find a proper balance with Caglianone so he isn’t overworked, especially early in the season. 

Now that he’s back and fully healthy, Caglianone will hit in the middle of Florida’s lineup whether he’s pitching, at first base, or the designated hitter. 


The Sante Fe transfer played two seasons with the Saints from 2021-2022, slashing .306/.339/.627 with 26 home runs, two triples, 19 doubles, 85 RBI, 84 runs and four stolen bases over 84 career games. 

Shelnut tied Santa Fe’s single-season home run record with 19 long balls in 2022 while batting .333/.420/.747 across 45 games. 

During his time at Sante Fe, Shelnut was named 2022 First Team All-State, 2022 First Team All-Conference and 2021 Second Team All-Conference. 

The Lake City native worked as a two-way player during his freshman season, working to a 3-3 record, 12 saves, 3.09 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 35 innings spread across 21 appearances, earning 2021 Mid-Florida Conference Fireman of the Year as the league’s top reliever. 

Shelnut has plenty of experience at 3rd base and played shortstop in high school, but I expect the 6-2, 190 pounder to be in the rotation at 1st base, potentially playing when Caglianone is pitching or at DH. Shelnut’s versatility fits the mold of many infielders on the Gators roster; if he’s consistently providing great at bats, he’ll work his way into more playing time. 


The two-way player put together monstrous numbers on the mound for North Broward Prep. You can find his pitching profile under Gator Country’s right-handed pitchers position group breakdown. 

The 6-8, 215 pounder slashed .355/.475/.612 as a senior with four home runs, one triple, 10 doubles, 30 RBI, 28 runs and 10 steals in 31 games. 

Tejeda primarily played outfield in high school, ranking as the No. 3 outfielder and No. 12 recruit in Florida on top of being the No. 13 outfielder and No. 52 overall player nationally, according to Perfect Game. 

I expect Tejeda to contribute as a pitcher this season, but it may be difficult for the two-way player to see the diamond as a position player, especially when you consider Deric Fabian is in the mix at first base as well. 


The first base position will rotate often as the season progresses. I expect Jac Caglianone to start the season at first base, but he’ll see his fair share of innings pitched and designated hitter nights. 

Tyler Shelnut and Deric Fabian will provide quality depth for the Gators. You may also see BT Riopelle, Rene Lastres, or Luke Heyman receive work at first base. 

First base, like many positions for Florida, will ultimately come down to who is swinging the best bat.


Nick Marcinko
Nick is a recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Telecommunications. He is passionate about all sports but specifically baseball and football. Nick interned at Inside the Gators and worked part time with Knights247 before joining the Gator Country family. Nick enjoys spending his free time golfing and at the beach.