Florida baseball position group breakdown: Second base

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



The 5-11, 190-pound infielder played high school ball at Berkeley Prep, where he was a five-year letterwinner and starter at shortstop under head coach Richie Warren. Kurland is the all-time leader in hits (133), runs (126), stolen bases (52) and home runs (18) at Berkeley Prep. 

As a junior, Kurland slashed .468/.606/.957 with a state-leading 13 home runs and 17 steals in 32 games. The Cum Laude Society and National Honor Society member reclassified into the 2022 class, forgoing his senior season. 

Kurland is ranked by Perfect Game as the No. 201 overall recruit nationally. He was also ranked by Prep Baseball Report as the No. 3 player in Florida in the 2023 class (before reclassifying). 

The Tampa native earned 2022 Florida Dairy Farmers Class 3A Player of the Year, 2022 Max Preps All-American and ABCA/Rawlings High School All-American, 2022 PBR First Team All-State, All-813Preps Most Valuable Player in 2022, three-time FACA District 15 3A Player of the Year, and the 2022 Hillsborough County Most Valuable Player throughout his high school career. 

While Kurland played shortstop at Berkeley Prep, I expect him to start his Gators career at 2nd base due to the open competition at the position. 

If Kurland’s freshman campaign goes smoothly, he could be a front-runner to start at shortstop for the Gators in 2024. 


The Coastal Carolina transfer competed with the Chanticleers from 2020-2022, slashing .281/.376/.481 with 18 homers, three triples, 19 doubles, 84 runs, 75 RBI and eight stolen bases across 116 career games. 

Thomas set career highs in games started (59), games played (59), hits (62), batting average (.284), slugging (.688), home runs (13), triples (two), doubles (15) runs (49), RBI (49) and stolen bases (five) in 2022. 

Thomas earned a 2022 All-Sun Belt Second Team selection and ranked No. 19 nationally in D1Baseball’s third base power rankings. 

The 5-10, 205 pounder has experience at third base, shortstop, and second base, posting a .951 career fielding percentage over 247 defensive chances. 

I have Thomas slated at 2nd base due to the experience Florida has at third base and shortstop, but he’ll provide quality depth across the infield if he doesn’t win the starting job. 


Second base is the most unpredictable position group with just five days until opening night. Deric Fabian, Cade Kurland, and Dale Thomas all have a legitimate shot to start for the Gators. 

The reports coming out of preseason indicate that sophomore Deric Fabian is swinging the bat as good as anyone on the team. Even though Fabian doesn’t have much experience at second base throughout his collegiate career, he could find himself starting the year as the Gators’ second baseman. You can find Deric Fabian’s profile under the third base position group breakdown.

I expect Coach Sullivan to rotate players in second base as the season progresses, especially in non-conference play.



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.