Tampa's Preston Tucker among five Gators to earn preseason All-American baseball honors
Five Gator baseball players, including Tampa native Preston Tucker, have been named to the 2012 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Pro-Line Athletic Preseason All-America Team, announced today - the most from a single team nationwide.
Junior left-hander/first baseman Brian Johnson and junior catcher Mike Zunino were named to the first team. Tucker and right-handed relief pitcher Austin Maddox were second team selections. Left-handed pitcher Karsten Whitson was chosen to the third team.
Johnson was a semifinalist for the 2011 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award. A first-team All-SEC selection, he compiled an 8-3 record with a 3.62 earned run average in 15 starts on the mound spanning 79.2 innings. The left-hander was third on the team with 72 strikeouts and limited opponents to a .253 batting average. Johnson hit .307 with 29 RBI, 26 runs and 18 extra-base hits (11 doubles, five homers and two triples).
Zunino, the 2011 SEC Player of the Year, led the Gators and was among the league leaders in batting average (.371), total bases (178), hits (98), runs (75), doubles (23), homers (19), slugging percentage (.674) and on-base percentage (.442). Tucker hit .308 with a team-best 74 RBI, 55 runs, 28 walks and 23 doubles in 72 games. During the Gators’ 11 NCAA Tournament outings, Tucker contributed a team-leading 20 RBI and had 11 extra-base hits (six doubles and five homers) on his way to a .304 (14-for-46) average. He hit .311 with 25 runs, 22 RBI, seven doubles and four homers in conference play this past season. Returning to Gainesville for his senior campaign after being taken in the 16th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft by the Colorado Rockies, Tucker is the school’s all-time leader in NCAA Tourney at bats (97), hits (35), homers (9) and doubles (8), and needs seven RBI to surpass Brad Wilkerson’s Florida career record of 214.