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Jac Caglianone

Florida’s Jac Caglianone remembers near miss vividly

Jac Caglianone has unfinished business in Omaha

Jac Caglianone vividly recalls the last time he played under the bright lights at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Neb. Falling one win shy of hoisting the 2023 College World Series trophy was gut wrenching for Caglianone and the Florida Gators. 

Caglianone, who was a sophomore at the time, embraced the Gator seniors and graduate students as their season ended. He mentally and physically worked hard during the offseason. The Florida junior had his eye on returning to Omaha and getting the Gators another chance to redeem themselves.

“This is what you work for all year,” Caglianone said during Florida’s press conference Thursday. “Coming up one game short last year put a chip on our back, so we wanted to return. 

“Having another shot at it is something we don’t take for granted. We’re thankful to be here and excited to play here.”

Two-way threat

Jac Caglianone and Florida will look to carry their momentum into Omaha on Saturday night against No. 3-seed Texas A&M. The two-way player can zip a 99-mph fastball right past you one minute and then launch a 516-foot home run over a scoreboard in right the next.

He’s also the first college baseball player to sign an exclusive deal with Topps and Fanatics to encompass both trading cards and memorabilia.

As a pitcher, Caglianone is 5-2 with a 4.71 ERA and 82 strikeouts. He has averaged 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) in 15 games. Offensively, the 6-foot-5 slugger is hitting  .411 with 97 hits, seven doubles, 33 home runs and 68 RBIs.

Caglianone has already set career highs in hits (97), walks (52), batting average (.411), on-base percentage (.532), slugging percentage (.860) and OPS (1.392).

Jac Caglianone sits atop draft boards

Some Major League Baseball mock drafts have him projected as a Top 3 pick in this year’s draft. currently has Caglianone ranked as the third overall prospect. He’s behind Oregon State second baseman Travis Bazzana (No. 1), and Georgia outfielder/infielder Charlie Condon (No. 2).

“Very exciting two-way prospect,” a National League scout said of Caglianone. “As a hitter, he reminds me of a younger Joey Gallo. Up to 98-mph on the mound. Chance to be an impact player at the major league level.”

The Gators entered the NCAA playoffs with a  28-27 record. They earned the No. 3 seed in the Stillwater Regional. Florida defeated top-seeded Oklahoma State, and then traveled to Clemson for the Super Regionals. 


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In an intense back-and-forth Game 2 of the Super Regional Final, Caglianone and the Gators upset the No. 6 Clemson Tigers to return to the College World Series. 

“Once we got the opportunity to play in the postseason, I mean, record is reset. None of it matters,” Caglianone said. “We knew that we have loads of talent from top to bottom on this roster. Like I said earlier, just playing for each other, knowing what this program is about and what this program has always been about. Our final goal is to be here.

“Having everybody buy into that and realizing we had that opportunity was really a good push in the right direction for us, and we just kind of built on it.”

‘Tremendous leader’

Caglianone is a finalist for the John Olerud Award, which is given to the top two-way player in college baseball. He has already been honored as The Perfect Game College Baseball Two-Way Player of the Year.

Gators coach Kevin O’Sullivan insists that Caglianone’s contributions extend beyond his stats, though.

“It’s easy to sit back and be in awe of his offensive numbers and the walks-to-strikeout ratio and how he has advanced on the mound,” O’Sullivan said of Caglianone. “But the thing I keep saying over and over is how he’s been able to submerse himself into the team and not his own personal success, which has really allowed him to have the season he’s had.

“Tremendous leader. He’s one of the most likable guys in the locker room. He’s just … stayed the course. Obviously we wouldn’t be here without him.”

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