Thursday, May 12, 2016

UF Baseball: Sully's Guys, Where Are They Now? '08 - '10

Kevin O'Sullivan is in prime position to win his first collegiate National Championship as his 2016 Gators sit at 41-8 (16-7 in SEC play). If the Orange and Blue can leave Omaha with the program's first title, then 101 years of futility will finally come to an end!

Sully has had many talented players come through his program, and though their collective talents have not pushed UF completely over the top, they have kept the program in elite company season after season.

But what happens when they move on to the next level and get drafted to the MLB? Are they still dominating the field? Are they even in the pros?

Well in this article I answer these questions! Without further adieu, here are the fates of all the Gator baseball players who were drafted during the first three years of Sully's tenure at Florida.


Cole Figueroa (195th Overall in the 6th Round)

Hailing from Tallahassee, Florida, Figueroa played infield at the University of Florida for two seasons. In his brief time as a Gator, Figueroa slashed .340/.403/.518 with 165 hits, 20 home runs, 107 RBI's, 109 runs scored, and 27 stolen bases.

After going in the sixth round of the 2008 MLB Draft to the Tampa Bay Rays, Figueroa spent six years in the minor leagues before being called up. Playing just 23 games with the Rays, Figueroa was released in November 2014 before the New York Yankees signed him just two weeks later in December.

With New York, Figueroa saw action in just two games before he decided to become a free agent in November of 2015. In that same offseason, he chose to sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates and currently resides with their AAA club the Indianapolis Indians. He played just eight games at the major league level with the Pirates.

In 33 professional games, Figueroa slashed .200/.242./.300 with 12 hits, no home runs, six RBI's, eight runs scored, and no stolen bases.

Josh Edmondson (1249th Overall in the 41st Round)

A Georgia-native who played all four seasons at UF, Edmondson pitched out of the bullpen for the entirety of his collegiate career. In 96 appearances, he had a career ERA of 3.39 with an 11-4 record, four saves, 170 innings pitched, 105 strikeouts, and 41 walks.

Though he was selected in the 41st round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Angels, Edmondson chose not to pursue a career in professional baseball. Maybe instead he chose to do something with his degree in Food and Resource Economics.


Avery Barnes (331st Overall in the 11th Round) 

Growing up half an hour away from Gainesville in High Springs, Florida, Barnes used all four years of his eligibility at the University of Florida. Manning left field for a majority of his collegiate career, Barnes slashed .342/.414/.484 with 219 hits, 13 home runs, 89 RBI's, 185 runs scored, and 48 stolen bases.

Drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 11th round of the 2009 MLB Draft, Barnes played three seasons in the minor leagues. Ascending as high as A-ball, he decided to hang up the spikes and retire after 2011. He finished his short-lived minor league career with a slash line of .298/.340/.413 with 269 hits, 11 home runs, 87 RBI's, 149 runs scored, and 74 stolen bases.

Billy Bullock (70th Overall in the 2nd Round)

Growing up on the west coast in Valrico, Florida, Bullock pitched for three seasons at the University of Florida. Appearing in 67 games, Bullock posted a career ERA of 4.83 with a 9-15 record, 11 saves, 192 innings pitched, 150 strikeouts, and 75 walks.

Going 70th overall in the second round of the 2009 MLB Draft to the Minnesota Twins, Bullock made it as high as the AAA level in 2012 before regressing towards independent ball. He never played a game in the major leagues.

To my knowledge, he is out of baseball and finished his five-year minor league career with 189 appearances, an 11-11 record, a 4.32 ERA, 50 saves, 227 innings pitched, 292 strikeouts, and 152 walks.

But hey, at least he's killing Temple Run:
Kevin Chapman (119th Overall in the 4th Round)

Kevin Chapman grew up in Coral Springs, Florida, and went to my high school Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale. Redshirting due to medical reasons after his freshman year, Chapman went on to pitch successfully at UF for three years.

A reliever for the majority of his collegiate career, Chapman appeared in 61 games and boasted a 2.81 ERA, a 6-1 record, 11 saves, 93 innings pitched, 76 strikeouts, and 35 walks.

After the Kansas City Royals drafted him 119th overall in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB Draft, Chapman spent three seasons in the minor leagues before being traded to the Houston Astros in 2012. Since the trade, he has been called up to the MLB in all of the following seasons (2013-2015).

However, Chapman has not been able to stay in the pros for the long haul. He is currently playing with the Astros' AAA affiliate in the Fresno Grizzlies. For what it's worth, Chapman is 3-1 in the big leagues with a 3.26 ERA, one save, 47 innings pitched, 42 strikeouts, and 27 walks.

Matt den Dekker (152nd Overall in the 5th Round)

Matt den Dekker grew up in Fort Lauderdale and is actually the younger cousin (by six months) of Kevin Chapman. Attending Westminster Academy as well, den Dekker accompanied his cousin to Gainesville for college ball.

Seeing action as early as his freshman season, den Dekker played all four years at UF and slashed .310/.403/.481 with 262 hits, 33 home runs, 159 RBI's, 220 runs scored, and 65 stolen bases.

After killing it in college and earning three consecutive SEC All-Defensive Team selections, den Dekker was chosen 152nd overall in the fifth round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the New York Mets. After three years in the minors, den Dekker was called up to the big leagues and has been in and out like his cousin ever since.

In 2015, den Dekker was traded to the Washington Nationals and continues to see sparse playing time when the Nats lose an outfielder or two due to injury. In four seasons of professional action, he has slashed .238/.317/.362 with 81 hits, seven home runs, 29 RBI's, 43 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases.

Hampton Tignor (1104th Overall in the 36th Round)

Hampton Tignor grew up in Sarasota, Florida, and served as the Gators' backstop during his four-year collegiate career. While playing for the Orange and Blue, he slashed .259/.336/.339 with 49 hits, three home runs, 25 RBI's, 36 runs scored, and three stolen bases.

After his senior season, he was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the 36th round of the 2010 MLB Draft. Yet, he played just one season in the minor leagues. In his brief minor league career, Tignor slashed .189/.265/.205 with 23 hits, no home runs, eight RBI's, 12 runs scored, and no stolen bases.

On the bright side though, he got married last month on April 2, 2016. Congrats to Hampton!

I hope you enjoyed Part One of this three-part series! My article on the 2011 through 2013 Gator draftees will be released sometime next week. Until then, stay tuned for my articles recapping every Gator baseball game against Vanderbilt this weekend.

*All stats accredited to

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