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Pitcher to leave Florida

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Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013 2:03 pm | Updated: 1:07 am, Tue Jun 11, 2013.

Right-hander Tucker Simpson will transfer from Florida, a UF spokesman confirmed Monday.

The spokesman confirmed Simpson will be transferring to a junior college.

Simpson created a Twitter handle on June 4. Members of the baseball program are prohibited from having a Twitter account unless if they signed professionally or are no longer with the team, according to the UF spokesman.

At the same time players such as Jonathon Crawford were creating Twitter accounts upon going professional, Simpson posted on his account (@tsimp10): “FIRST EVER TWEET!! #excited #finallycanhavetwitter”

Simpson will be eligible for the 2014 MLB Draft. Per MLB rules, junior college players – regardless of how many years of school they have completed – are draft eligible.

During his freshman season in 2012-13, Simpson appeared in 13 games – starting eight on the mound – and rounded out his freshman season with a 1-2 record and 4.79 ERA. In 35.2 innings, he walked 15 batters and struck out 29.

His ERA was last only to freshman Eric Hanhold’s 5.88.

The 6-foot-6 Simpson was ranked as the 62nd-best right-handed pitcher in the nation, according to ESPN’s 2012 position rankings. Simpson played high school ball at Oxford High in Oxford, Ala., where he was ranked as the No. 1 right-hander and the No. 4 player in the state of Alabama in 2012.

Simpson’s last appearance came against Georgia on May 17, where he pitched 1.1 frames and surrendered two walks after relieving freshman Parker Danciu in the bottom of the seventh.

Contact Chuck Kingsbury at @ckingsbury@alligator.org.

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