The accolades came in droves for Florida pitcher Brady Singer this season.
Baseball America Player of the Year. SEC Pitcher of the Year. First-team All-American.
The latest addition to his resume: first-round draft pick.
The Kansas City Royals selected Singer No. 18 overall in the 2018 MLB Draft on Monday. He's the second Gator taken this year, with third baseman Jonathan India being drafted fifth overall by the Cincinnati Reds. The assigned slot value for Singer's draft pick is about $3.3 million.
"I really like this pick for the Royals, who need pitching and couldn't have expected Pipeline's No. 2 Draft prospect to last until No. 18," MLB.com's Jim Callis wrote of Singer in his instant analysis. "I'm not sure what happened here, but Kansas City got a nearly MLB-ready pitcher who has a lively fastball and tremendous feel for his slider. I really like the way Singer attacks hitters, and his competitiveness is off the charts."
Singer’s selection marks the third consecutive year that at least one Gators pitcher was taken in the opening 30 picks. Alex Faedo went 18th overall to the Detroit Tigers in 2017, while A.J. Puk (No. 6, Oakland Athletics) and Dane Dunning (No. 29, Washington Nationals) were first-round selections in 2016.
Singer could have made the jump to professional baseball when the Toronto Blue Jays picked him in the second round out of high school. Instead, the Eustis, Florida, native made the two-hour drive north to Gainesville and became yet another quality pitcher to thrive for the Gators.
The goal now is to help lead the Gators to a second-straight College World Series title. The Gators are a win away from advancing to a best-of-3 Super Regional matchup against Auburn, which is led by No. 1 overall pick Casey Mize.
Singer is 11-1 this season with a 2.27 ERA. The 6-5, 220-pound righty has struck out 98 batters in 95 innings He is holding opponents to a .188 batting average — the third-best single-season mark in UF records dating back to the 1974 season.
His latest outing on Saturday, his first appearance on the mound since May 11 while recovering from left hamstring tightness, was a beauty. He earned the victory in the winner's bracket matchup against Jacksonville after holding the Dolphins to two earned runs and five hits over seven innings. He struck out six batters of the 27 batters he faced. UF's defense turned three double plays, including one in the fifth in which Singer fielded a squeeze bunt with runners on second and third base, tagged the runner at home and then threw out the runner at first.
"My body felt good," Singer told reporters after the 3-2 win. "I had to knock a little bit of rust off, but I felt fine especially with the run support and double plays behind me."
For his collegiate career, Singer is 22-8 overall with a 3.16 ERA. He has thrown four complete games over the last two seasons and has 23 career quality starts — defined as giving up no more than three earned runs while pitching at least six innings. His 265 career strikeouts rank seventh in Florida history.
Baseball America listed Singer as its No. 4 overall prospect for the draft.
“The latest in a developing tradition of talented Florida starting pitchers is righthander Brady Singer, who was one of the earliest players to establish himself at the top of the 2018 draft class with one of the most spotless track records in the country,” the website’s scouting report reads. “Singer has a long history of success in the SEC and has improved—at least statistically—every season.”