Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Team Player Position State Bonus
1 3 Seattle Mariners Mike Zunino C Fla. $4,000,000
The son of Reds scout Greg Zunino, Mike has been a three-year starter for the Gators and was the Southeastern Conference player of the year in 2011, when he ranked seventh in Division I with 19 home runs. Zunino doesn't wow scouts with tools but beats opponents steadily with his strength, solid catching ability and professional approach. Zunino's bat projects to be above-average for a major league catcher. He has excellent strength in his 6-foot-2, 220-pound frame and has a short swing when he's locked in. Scouts generally give him 50-55 grades for his bat and 55-60 grades for his power on the 20-80 scouting scale. He has had some issues with breaking balls down and away this season, fairly typical for righthanded sluggers. His catch-and-throw skills are solid-average, though he'll box some balls and tends to have tailing action on his throws. Zunino grew up around the game and has superior intangibles and leadership skills, and scouts don't shrink from Jason Varitek comparisons. They rave about his feel for the game and presence as attributes that show up when you see the Gators on a consistent basis. Zunino isn't as exciting as recent top college catchers such as Buster Posey and Matt Wieters but isn't too far behind them in terms of ceiling. He figures to come off the board in the first three picks and is a candidate to go No. 1 overall.
1 31 Boston Red Sox Brian Johnson LHP Fla. $1,575,000
Johnson was a latecoming member of the 2009 draft's Top 200 Prospects list, emerging with a strong showing in Sebring, Fla., at the state's high school all-star game. He went to Florida instead of signing and quickly emerged as one of the nation's top two-way players. He led USA Baseball's College National Team with three home runs last summer and draws some interest as a power-hitting first baseman. He's a fairly slow-twitch athlete, though, and profiles better as a durable, big bodied fourth starter. Johnson pitches off an average fastball in the 88-91 mph range, complemented by a slider, curveball and changeup. He throws all four pitches for strikes, with just 42 career walks in his first 219 college innings, and he hides the ball well in his delivery. He gets more swings and misses with his fastball than his velocity and fastball life would seem to merit. Johnson's curveball has its moments as his best secondary pitch, though he doesn't throw it with consistent power. Johnson has good body control despite his modest athleticism and soft body. He's considered a safe, low-upside pick, with some hope that his stuff will become firmer as he focuses 100 percent on pitching.
2 61 Houston Astros Nolan Fontana SS Fla. $875,000
Fontana came to Gainesville in the summer of 2009 as part of a top-ranked recruiting class that included Mike Zunino, Brian Johnson and Hudson Randall, among others. Fontana became the everyday shortstop as a freshman and has helped take the Gators to back-to-back College World Series trips. Scouts see him as one of the draft's safest bets for his defensive and hitting skills, despite his lack of impact tools. One opposing coach likened Fontana to Novocain: "Give it time, it works." Fontana grinds through at-bats, seeing plenty of pitches and drawing walks. He has learned to punish mistakes and had nine home runs through April, after hitting eight in his first two seasons combined. Some scouts say Fontana has above-average speed, and all note his heady, smart baserunning. He's an efficient, surehanded defender at short who has made just three errors this season. He should play there as a professional, at least as a utility player, but profiles better as a second baseman due to his range and average arm. Fontana has no impact tool but should be a big leaguer for a long time, and should be the second college middle infielder drafted after Arizona State's Deven Marrero.
2 82 Los Angeles Dodgers Paco Rodriguez LHP Fla. $610,800
Frequently referred to by his nickname Paco, Rodriguez has evolved from a left-on-left specialist as a freshman for the Gators into a flexible weapon out of the team's bullpen. He has a funky delivery, most notable when he comes set in the stretch: He nearly stops once, then comes set a second times. Scouts who block out the calls of "Balk!" from opposing fans see Rodriguez execute his pitches well, starting with a hard, upper-80s cut fastball that gets in on righthanded hitters. He has enough fastball to keep hitters honest, throwing 91-92 mph and pounding the strike zone. He adds a sweepy but effective slider that at times has depth. Always efficient, Rodriguez has been much better in 2012, putting hitters away more consistently. His 12.23 strikeouts per nine innings ranked fourth in the nation, and he had a 6-1 K-BB ratio in a career-high 53 innings. Deception is built in to Rodriguez's approach, with an arm action that helps him hide the ball in the back before it comes out of a three-quarters slot. He's a safe pick who at least should be a lefty specialist but has shown the durability and dominance to be more than that.
3 118 Boston Red Sox Austin Maddox RHP Fla. $350,000
Maddox was a decorated amateur player who at one time projected as a first-round pick due to his power bat and arm strength. A high school catcher and pitcher, he fell to the 37th round of the 2009 draft (Rays) after ranking No. 81 on BA's Top 200 draft prospects. Maddox went to Florida and has helped the program make consecutive trips to Omaha while transforming himself as a player. Blocked at catcher by Mike Zunino, Maddox hit 17 home runs as a freshman corner infielder but tumbled to six in 2011 with the less-potent bats, and his lack of selectivity and a defensive position drove down his stock as a hitter. After not pitching as a freshman, he seized the closer role as a sophomore, and he remains there as a junior. Scouts now view him as a pitcher, though his background as an everyday player days comes through in his competitiveness. Maddox has closer makeup and mound presence to spare, with confidence and an attacking mentality. At his best, he features a 92-94 mph fastball that has reached 96, and he gets swings and misses in the strike zone with it. His arm action causes his offspeed stuff to be erratic, but scouts think his mechanics can be refined with a full focus on the mound. He throws a slurvy slider, which is effective when he stays on top of it, and a changeup that gives hitters a different look. He's had some rotator cuff tendinitis this spring but generally has handled a heavy workload well, and his 6-foot-3, 235-pound body should help him hold up under a pro workload.
7 219 Houston Astros Preston Tucker OF Fla. $100,000
Tucker has anchored the Gators' lineup since he stepped on campus. He's moved to right field from first base for much of the last three seasons and has improved his defense in right to become an adequate college defender. After a slow start to 2011, Tucker came on and finished among the nation's top 20 in home runs despite the bat changes. His slow start and high bonus demands helped push Tucker down to the 16th round (Rockies). He didn't sign and returned for his senior year. Tucker is a known commodity, a thick-bodied, strong power hitter with limited value beyond his bat. While he has some arm strength, his lack of mobility in his 6-foot, 220-pound frame prompts most scouts to see him as at best a left fielder, if not a first baseman or DH. He's a 20 runner, and his bat speed is just average, so he doesn't always catch up to premium velocity. His Cape Cod League track record with wood bats is poor. What he has is present strength, a feel for hitting (he's about to break Mark Ellis' Florida career hits mark) and plus raw power. At worst, Tucker should anchor a Triple-A lineup down the line and get some big league cups of coffee thanks to his bat. At best, he could be a second-division regular in the Brian Daubach mold.
7 244 Detroit Tigers Hudson Randall RHP Fla. $142,000
Randall has been Florida's ace for three seasons without owning a pitch that's plus on a pro scouting scale. What he has that's above-average is command and life on all his pitches. He cuts, sinks and runs his fastball to all four quadrants of the strike zone, a must because it tops out at 88-90 mph. The 6-foot-3, 180-pounder throws a changeup with similar action and throws strikes with his curve and cutter-type slider. He missed time with a dead arm this spring, but his performance (2.70 ERA, just 41 BB in 296 career IP) could get him off the board early.
9 292 Cincinnati Reds Daniel Pigott OF Fla. $40,000
Senior outfielder Daniel Pigott has been a steady contributor the last two seasons with gap power and average speed. He should be a solid organizational player and stick around pro ball a bit longer than older brother Jonathan, who spent one year in the Braves system.
20 631 Boston Red Sox Greg Larson RHP Fla.
Florida offers other intriguing draft possibilities beyond its stars, such as sidearming senior Greg Larson, who should be a look considering Darren O'Day went from submarining for the Gators to the big leagues.