The Baseball Observer Nov-Dec 2015 vol 5 - Page 20

out, but the older guys were great at showing me around,” the 6-foot-4 righty said of his introduction to Gainesville. “Specifically, they showed me what the coaches expect from me as a pitcher on a daily basis. It’s been nice to be comfortable and to know what I’m doing.”

The veterans constantly remind the young freshmen to stay calm and to follow assistant coach Brad Weitzel’s advice – work hard.

“Working hard day-in and day-out,

that’s something I keep close to

my heart because Brad preaches

that a lot, he loves working hard,”

Singer said.

The righty said that although joining

the Gators as a freshman is slightly intimidating, it’s comforting to

have teammates alongside him

that struggled with the same


“They really bring you in here as a family,” Singer said. “They tell you what to do, what not to do, how to make the coaches happy and how to become a better man and baseball player.”

Liput and his teammates are often reminded that while the level of talent has significantly increased, the young men are still playing the same nine-inning, 27-out game they grew up on.

“They tell me to slow the game down as much as possible and to play the game the way that I have been playing it my whole life. At the end of the day, it’s a game, and you just have to have fun with everything you do.”

Roughly three months away from the start of the 2016 season, which kicks off on Feb. 19 with the opener of a home weekend series against FGCU, the Gators are competing for playing time during fall practice and intra-squad scrimmages multiple times a week.

“Fall ball has been so exciting because there’s a lot of competiveness and a lot of action between teams,” Maldonado

said. “Hopefully, this class brings something new to the table and a little more intensity.”

Having a stellar pitching staff allows Maldonado, Liput and the other batters to face some of the nation’s top talent on a daily basis.

“Fall is tough because we have a really good team this year, but everyone is doing well because everyone comes out and works hard,” Liput said of the workouts and practices thus far. “We just have to go out there and work hard in practice. The rest will take care of itself.”With six right-handers and two left

Losing three position starters to the professional ranks and several key components of the bullpen, Florida’s incoming class looks to fill in the missing pieces and provide a talent infusion to the squad.

The Baseball Observer - Nov/ Dec 2015