GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida ace Brady Singer has accomplished just about all he could have set out to do in college.
The junior right-hander already has been a central contributor to a College World Series championship. He’s the newly minted SEC Pitcher of the Year. He’s put up incredible stats. And he’s set to become a highly compensated first-round MLB draft pick next week while trying to lead the Gators on another deep postseason run.
But first, Singer added another major accolade to his collection Thursday as he was named the 2018 Baseball America National Player of the Year.
Singer is the first pitcher to win the award since UCLA’s Trevor Bauer in 2011. He’s the second Florida player to earn the honor, joining 2012 winner Mike Zunino.
Singer led the SEC with 10 wins and a 2.25 ERA while ranking second in the baseball-rich conference in opponents’ batting average, holding hitters to a stifling .186 mark.
After sitting out the last week of the regular season and the conference tournament to rest a troublesome hamstring, Singer is expected to be ready for the NCAA Regional this week.
The Gators (42-17) earned the No. 1 national seed and host Jacksonville, Florida Atlantic and Columbia in their double-elimination four-team regional, which starts Friday with an opening matchup against Columbia.
As for awards season, Florida junior third baseman Jonathan India and junior closer Michael Byrne also made Baseball America’s prestigious All-America First Team.
India had his own player of the year campaign going for most of the season before his numbers dipped down the stretch. He nonetheless carries an impressive line into regionals with a .362 batting average, 17 homers and 42 RBI. He was named the SEC Player of the Year last week.
Byrne has a 1.99 ERA and 13 saves in 29 appearances and now holds both the Gators’ single-season (19 saves last year) and career saves records (32).