GAINESVILLE, Fla. — For three years, Florida’s Dalton Guthrie has proven to be one of the best defensive shortstops in college baseball. Now, he’ll have a chance to prove his defensive talents will adapt to the big leagues.
The Philadelphia Phillies selected Guthrie with the 173rd overall pick in the sixth round of the 2017 MLB Draft on Tuesday. He is the third-highest Florida middle infielder to be drafted in 10 seasons under coach Kevin O’Sullivan behind just Richie Martin (2015, No. 20) and Nolan Fontana (2012, No. 61). His approximate pick value is $266,800 according to MLB.com.
Time and time again, Guthrie has made nearly impossible plays in the field look routine. Line outs past his head. Ground balls that bobble seemingly out of reach or off a base. High choppers going over his head. He scoops them up like clockwork.
Look no further than the Gainesville Super Regional finale against Wake Forest on Monday as the latest example. In the first inning, he dove to his right to scoop up a ground ball and fired the throw to first base from his knees to limit the Demon Deacons to an infield single instead of potentially extra bases. One batter later, he grabbed a routine ground ball to end the inning. One inning later, Guthrie made another web gem by diving for a ground ball hit up the middle, rolling around and throwing to first base for a seemingly routine out.
Dalton Guthrie is a WEB GEM MACHINE!
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 12, 2017
In addition to his glove, Guthrie has potential at the plate. He served as Florida’s leadoff hitter for his first two seasons and held the role to start 2017 before missing a month midseason with a shoulder injury. Guthrie has a .287 batting average during his collegiate career with 36 doubles, 7 home runs, 70 RBI, 139 runs scored and 24 stolen bases. He has hit a career-best 4 home runs this season with games left to play.
Guthrie is the second Florida player to be selected in this year’s MLB Draft following pitcher Alex Faedo (No. 18, Detroit Tigers).