Florida Gators baseball places four on preseason All-American list

A day after the Florida Gators were ranked the preseason No. 1 team in the country four players were named to the Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American team.

Juniors LHP A.J. Puk, RHP Logan Shore and outfielder Buddy Reed were all named to the first team, while sophomore C/DH JJ Schwarz was named to the second team. All four players were apart of the USA Collegiate National Team last summer.

Puk made 17 appearances (14 starts) last season, posting a 9-4 record and a 3.81 ERA. The lefty led the Gators with 104 strikeouts in 78 innings, making him the first Gator pitcher to reach the 100-strikeout mark since Bryan Augenstein in 2007. Puk’s 104 strikeouts were fifth best in the SEC and opponent’s .210 batting against him was fourth best among pitchers. Puk turned it on at the end of the season, putting together a 2-1 record in four postseason starts with 30 strikeouts in 23.1 innings or work with a 1.54 ERA.

Shore, the Florida Gators Friday night starter, led the Gators with 19 starts and compiled an 11-6 record. Shore started three of the Gators four shutouts in 2015 and was responsible for two of the Gators three complete games. He led the team in innings (112.1), striking out 84 batters to just 24 walks. Like Puk, Shore locked in during Florida’s postseason run with a perfect 5-0 record striking out 24 to just five walks in 29.2 innings of work.

Reed started 69-of-70 games for Florida and posted career highs in batting average (.305), hits (86), runs (51), RBI (47), stolen bases (18), doubles (14), triples (5) and home runs (4). Reed’s .305 batting average was third on the team behind All-Americans Josh Tobias and JJ Schwarz.

Schwarz had a freshman campaign to remember posting a .332 batting average and led the Gators in RBI (73), home runs (18), doubles (16), sacrifice flies (6) and slugging percentage (.629). He was named the Louisville Slugger Co-2015 Freshman Player of the Year and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Freshman Hitter of the Year. During the postseason, Schwarz hit .491 (28-for-57), with 23 runs, 19 RBI five doubles and four home runs in 15 postseason games.

Florida will open the 2016 season at McKethan Stadium with a three game set against Florida Gulf Coast University on February, 19.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC