The Cincinnati Reds selected Florida catcher Mark Kolozsvary with the 197th overall pick in the seventh round of the 2017 MLB Draft on Tuesday.
Kolozsvary, a junior, is the fourth Florida player drafted, joining pitcher Alex Faedo (No. 18, Detroit Tigers), shortstop Dalton Guthrie (No. 173, Philadelphia Phillies) and fellow catcher Mike Rivera (No. 192, Cleveland Indians). His slot value is $218,800 according to MLB.com
Kolozsvary came into the 2017 season as Florida’s No. 3 catcher but took advantage of his playing time after injuries throughout the infield forced the Gators to shift their lineup multiple times this season. Injuries to third baseman Jonathan India and Dalton Guthrie forced JJ Schwarz to play mainly at first base for more than a month in SEC play. Rivera missed the final six weeks of the regular season with a broken hamate bone in his right hand, as well.
He is batting .270 on the season with 26 RBI, 3 home runs and 20 runs scored in 45 games (35 starts) — all career highs. He also has proven to be a capable defensive catcher, throwing out five of the seven baserunners attempting to steal a base against him this season.
Kolozsvary’s selection could make for an interesting offseason and 2018 baseball season for the Gators should he decide to make the jump to pro ball. All three of Florida’s catchers — Kolozsvary, Rivera and Schwarz (still undrafted to this point) — would be off the roster heading into next season.
In addition, two of Florida’s top catcher signees — Suwanee High School’s Sam McMillian (No. 155 overall, Detroit Tigers) and Winter Haven High School’s Zach Jackson (No. 184 overall, St. Louis Cardinals) — were also drafted in the first 200 picks and could opt to forgo college to start their big league careers. The Gators have two additional catcher signees for next season according to Perfect Game: Calvin Greenfield from Jensen Beach, Fla., and Brady Smith from TNXL Academy in Niceville, Fla.