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Monday, May 27, 2024

Hunter Barco selected 44th by Pirates

The lefty ace missed the end of UF’s season due to Tommy John surgery

<p>Florida&#x27;s Hunter Barco pitches against Jacksonville on March 14. Barco was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday.</p>

Florida's Hunter Barco pitches against Jacksonville on March 14. Barco was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday.

Moments after Sterlin Thompson was drafted 31st by the Colorado Rockies, another Gator flew off the 2022 MLB Draft board.

Hunter Barco, the left-handed pitcher that served as Florida’s ace before a season-ending surgery, was taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the 44th overall pick.

Barco, after his freshman year was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, excelled in both of his final two years in Gainesville. He earned 2021 Southeastern Conference All-Newcomer Team honors allowing just 77 hits and dealing 94 strikeouts in 83 innings of work.

Barco was electric in his 2022 starts, thriving as UF’s bonafide ace. The Jacksonville native averaged an ERA of 2.50 and a record of 5-2, allowing just 14 runs in 50.1 innings of action.

Then, after an abbreviated start in Nashville, Tennessee, against Vanderbilt, Barco was sent to the dugout indefinitely with elbow soreness. Barco announced he would miss the remainder of the season May 3, as he underwent Tommy John surgery.

Despite the shortened season, Barco showed all he needed for Pittsburgh to be interested in taking the southpaw. He is eligible for more than $1.7 million at his slot value.

Contact Carson Cashion at Follow him on Twitter @CarsonCashion.

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Carson Cashion

Carson Cashion is a third-year sports journalism major at UF, and the sports editor at The Alligator for the 2022 summer semester. A native of Altamonte Springs, Carson spends his free time walking his dog, Baxter, and listening to good music. He is an avid Tennessee sports fan, and eagerly awaits watching one of his teams win a championship for the first time.

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