Florida baseball has experienced plenty of ups and downs this season. Despite some impressive victories over high-ranked programs, the Gators are 8-13 in the Southeastern Conference and on the bubble of a tournament spot.
On Tuesday, UF received some more bad news, as Hunter Barco announced on Instagram he would be out for the remainder of the season to undergo Tommy John surgery.
The redshirt sophomore ace joined the Gators in 2020 after being drafted in the 24th round by the New York Mets. The Jacksonville, Florida, native was the No. 5 ranked player in the state for the class of 2019 according to Perfect Game. He was named a Collegiate Baseball all-american in his freshman season and was named to the SEC all-newcomer team the year after.
“There is not just one play or one pitch that means more to me than another,” Barco said. “What rises above my play on the field is my love for Gator nation.”
Barco rose to the top of Florida’s bullpen this season, boasting a 5-2 record and a 2.50 ERA. He is the No. 14 ranked prospect in the 2022 MLB draft according to D1Baseball, but there has yet to be any official word on Barco’s future plans.
Without Barco, the Gators bullpen is greatly diminished for the rest of the season. Much uncertainty remains about the future of Florida’s pitching with his collegiate career possibly coming to a close.