Gators pitcher Jonathon Crawford selected in first round of MLB Draft
Florida junior pitcher Jonathon Crawford was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the first round of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft on Thursday night. Crawford, a native of Okeechobee, was the 20th overall selection.
Crawford becomes the highest selection for a Florida pitcher since John Burke was chosen by the Houston Astros at No. 6 overall in 1991.
This is the second consecutive year that a Florida player has been taken in the opening round. Former Gator catcher Mike Zunino went third overall to the Seattle Mariners and left-hander Brian Johnson was picked 31st by the Boston Red Sox last June.
After pitching just 3.2 innings as a freshman, Crawford made 19 appearances and 14 starts as a sophomore in 2012, going 6-2 with a 3.13 ERA and tied for second on the squad with 73 strikeouts in 77.2 innings. He started in nine of the Gators’ 10 SEC series and was 3-1 with a 2.56 ERA in 38.2 innings during league action.
In a team-high 15 starts and 86.2 innings this season, Crawford led Florida with 69 strikeouts and was 3-6 with a 3.84 ERA. During the Gators’ opening-round contest of the NCAA Bloomington Regional, he limited second-seeded Austin Peay to one run and four hits over 6.1 innings and had five strikeouts. He was later chosen to the Regional’s All-Tournament Team.