The 2022 MLB Draft kicked off Sunday, and Florida made its presence known early.
The Colorado Rockies selected UF outfielder Sterlin Thompson with the 31st overall pick, earning him a slot value of more than $2.4 million. Thompson was one of the cornerstones of the Gators offense in 2022.
An Ocala native from North Marion High School, Thompson lasted just two years at UF before receiving the call up to the big leagues. The slugger recorded 145 hits, 98 runs and 16 homers on a .332 batting average during his collegiate career.
He moved up in the lineup his sophomore year, starting in the three-spot before sliding up to second for the latter portion of the season. The 6-foot-4 lefty batter caught fire and never burned out, recording 51 RBIs and 90 hits in 2022.
The highlight of Thomson’s season came May 17, when he drilled a ninth-inning walk-off home run against Florida State. The feat marked the second consecutive Gators walk-off against FSU at home, and Thompson fully embraced the moment.
“I knew it was gone and I threw my bat,” Thompson said after the game. “That’s something I dreamed of as a kid.”
Thompson now heads out west to the Mile High City, where the Rockies currently hold a 43-50 record entering the final few months of the season. Colorado currently leads the league in team batting average at .262.
Contact Carson Cashion at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @CarsonCashion.
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.