A pair of Gators heard their name called on day two of the 2023 MLB Draft Monday. Shortstop Josh Rivera was selected with the No. 81 overall pick by the Chicago Cubs. LHP Philip Abner was selected just a short time later by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the sixth round.
For Rivera, this was the second time he’s been drafted as he was selected by San Diego in the 22nd round of the 2019 MLB Draft.
Rivera had a massive fourth season in the orange and blue as he finally put it all together. He earned a second team All-American nod by D1Baseball after hitting .348 with 19 home runs and 72 RBI. He also walked 46 times against just 35 strikeouts. Rivera also recorded 18 stolen bases to lead the Gators.
Abner, a draft-eligible sophomore, was selected No. 175 overall following a breakout season that saw him become an important part of the Florida bullpen.
Abner finished 2023 with a 3-0 record and a 3.16 ERA over 31.1 innings of work. He recorded 51 strikeouts to just 19 walks in his 25 appearances in 2023.
Abner’s big year came after a successful stint in the Cape Cod League last summer. On the Cape, Abner maintained a 1.93 ERA over eight appearances (28 innings).
Florida has now seen 219 players drafted in program history, including 104 since Kevin O’Sullivan took over in 2008.
The final day of the MLB Draft begins Tuesday at 2:00 PM ET. Rounds eleven to twenty will aired live on MLB.com for free.