1. Florida

Gator pitcher Brian Johnson signs deal with Boston Red Sox

Published Jun. 26, 2012

Brian Jonhson's days of pitching for the Florida Gators are officially over.

The junior pitcher and designated hitter, who was selected No. 31 in the MLB Draft earlier this month, has signed a deal with the Boston Red Sox for $1.5 million and will not return for his senior season. He is currently assigned to the Lowell Spinners in the New York-Penn League.

A first-team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and Perfect Game, Johnson was a second-team All-American by Baseball America and Louisville Slugger. He is one of three finalists for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year award that will be presented this weekend in Lubbock, Texas. Chosen first-team All-SEC for the past two seasons, he was 8-5 with a 3.90 ERA, and had 73 strikeouts in 90 innings. He battted .307 with 41 RBI, 24 runs, 13 doubles and six homers.

Johnson, who is left-handed, pitched his first career complete game to oust fourth-ranked South Carolina from the SEC Tournament on May 25 and matched his career high with four hits in the semifinal round the following day against Vanderbilt. He was named to the 2012 SEC All-Tournament Team at both pitcher and designated hitter.

During the NCAA Gainesville Regional, Johnson limited the Georgia Tech offense to one run on three hits over five innings on June 3 in a 15-3 Florida victory, sending the Gators to their fourth-straight NCAA Super Regional. Johnson batted .429 (3-for-7) in the sweep of No. 11 NC State and tied the second game with the Wolfpack with a solo homer in the eighth inning of Florida's eventual 9-8 victory in 10 innings.